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Coronavirus UK news update – Holiday destinations could be revealed in MAY under a ‘traffic light system’


BRITS itching to enjoy a well-deserved holiday could find out the available destinations by May.

Boris Johnson is said to be granting tourists the list of Covid-secure countries under a traffic light system.

EasyJet is readying its mothballed aircraft and boss Johan Lundgren believes France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Croatia, Cyprus and Turkey will make the “green light” list in the next few months.

He told The Sun: “Summer can really take off this year.

“I wouldn’t see a reason why you wouldn’t have the majority of the countries of Europe in there.

“It is important that the Government comes out with this list as soon as possible. This is the main question for most of our customers right now.”

This comes as data from the Office for National Statistics shows 23 per cent of coronavirus fatalities are now people who have died “with” the virus rather than from an infection.

This means the disease was not the primary cause of death recorded on death certificates, despite the person who died testing positive for Covid.

Other data also shows an increasingly positive picture of the state of the pandemic in Britain.

Daily death figures by “date of death” reveal that Britain has had no more than 28 deaths a day since the beginning of April.

Read our coronavirus live blog below for the very latest news and updates on the pandemic

  • LOTTERY LOCKDOWN BABY

    Lottery millionaire Gillian Bayford has given birth to a lockdown baby aged 48.

    And the £148million jackpot winner says she is thrilled to be a mum again.

    Gillian had her daughter Emilie six months ago. She said: “As far as she is concerned I’m not a lottery winner, I’m just Mum.

    “Some things are easier because of the money but it doesn’t really change anything. You still have to change a nappy or deal with her being sick on you regardless of how much you’re worth.”

    Gillian shared the EuroMillions jackpot with her then husband Adrian in 2012.

  • COVID INFECTIONS BEING UNDERESTIMATED BY MORE THAN HALF IN SCOTLAND – EXPERT

    Covid-19 case numbers in Scotland are being underestimated by more than half, according to a leading expert in infectious disease.

    Professor Mark Woolhouse said data from SPI-M, a sub group of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), shows there is a “persistent problem in Scotland and indeed the whole of the UK with missing Covid-19 cases”.

    Prof Woolhouse, a professor of infectious disease epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh, said official figures show Scotland had around 2,000 cases per day in late December and early January.

    But data from SPI-M and the Office for National Statistics shows the true figure to be 4,000-5,000 daily infections.

    Prof Woolhouse said: “What those numbers imply is that we’re consistently underestimating in Scotland the size of our epidemic terms of case numbers by roughly 50 or 60%. That’s quite a large disparity, and it’s a problem.”

  • COVID IS ‘NOWHERE NEAR FINISHED’

    Covid’s grip on the world is “nowhere near finished” as super variants are spawning a surge of new cases, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned.

    Its special envoy Dr David Nabarro, said the UK is bucking the trend with falling cases and deaths while in most parts of the globe coronavirus is rampant.

    ddressing the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, Dr Nabarro said new variants will be a “regular” occurrence while the virus is still prevalent around the world.

    He warned: “The pandemic is nowhere near finished.

    “Each week we have seen four and a half million cases being reported and know those are an enormous underestimate.

    “And we are still seeing a really significant number of deaths – nearly three million.

    “What I want to stress is that the pandemic is surging forward everywhere.”

  • REMINDER OF THE ROADMAP

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  • HOLIDAYS TO BE REVEALED IN MAY

    SUN-starved Brits will find out in early May where they can jet to on holiday — with hopes soaring that European hotspots will be open this summer.

    PM Boris Johnson could grant their wishes when he reveals which countries are Covid-secure for tourists under the “traffic lights” system.

    He told The Sun: “Summer can really take off this year.

    “I wouldn’t see a reason why you wouldn’t have the majority of the countries of Europe in there.

    “It is important that the Government comes out with this list as soon as possible. This is the main question for most of our customers right now.”

  • IRELAND CONSIDERS EXTENDING GAP BETWEEN PFIZER VACCINE DOSES

    Ireland is considering extending the gap between inoculations of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to more than four weeks to keep its vaccine programme on track while other vaccines are restricted, the health minister said on Wednesday.

    “We are looking for options for how we can keep the pace of the vaccine programme going given the news we’ve had” on restrictions to AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, Stephen Donnelly said.

    “Certainly extending the interval for Pfizer beyond the four weeks is something that is being looked at.”

  • DENMARK DITCHES ASTRAZENECA JAB OVER CLOT CONCERNS

    Denmark has become the first country to entirely cease administering AstraZeneca’s jab following its possible link to extremely rare cases of blood clots.

    This is despite recommendations from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and European medicines watchdog to continue using the vaccine — after a review gave just a 0.000095 per cent chance of a clot.

    The European Union’s drug watchdog said last week it had found a possible link between the vaccine and very rare blood clot cases, but said the risk of dying from Covid-19 was “much greater” than the risk of mortality from rare side effects.

    But the regulator left it to individual states to make their own risk assessments and decide how to administer the vaccine.

  • DRINK SALES SOARED 114% HIGHER THAN PRE-VIRUS ON PUBS REOPENING DAY

    Pubs, restaurants and bars which reopened on Monday have said their sales were more than double the levels seen before the coronavirus pandemic struck, according to new figures.

    Hospitality data specialists at CGA said that like-for-like drink sales jumped by 113.8% on the first day of outdoor trading, compared with the same day in 2019.

    Hospitality firms in England welcomed customers again on Monday after at least three months of closure due to the latest set of lockdown measures.

    However, only 38.2% of venues, around 41,100 licensed premises in total, had the outdoor space to enable them to reopen this week.

  • DR HILARY WARNS THIRD COVID WAVE IS COMING

    A third wave of Covid-19 is on its way and the pandemic is set to continue, Dr Hilary Jones has warned.

    Lockdown restrictions have once again eased up in England with pubs, gyms and non-essential shops reopening this week.

    Keeping infection rates down is key to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown and the next set of restrictions is due to be lifted on May 17.

    This morning, Dr Hilary warned that restrictions might need to stay in place for longer if the public fails to adhere to the rules still in place.

    This includes complying with social distancing measures and wearing a mask or face covering on public transport, in shops and other areas that are enclosed and where social distancing is not possible.

  • QUEEN WILL SIT ON HER OWN DURING FUNERAL DUE TO COVID CONCERNS

    The Queen will reportedly have to sit on her own during Prince Philip’s funeral because of strict coronavirus rules.

    The only person who could sit with her during the funeral is expected to be Brigadier Archie Miller-Bakewell, Philip‘s private secretary.

    He is the only other member of the 20-person Windsor Castle Covid bubble – known as ‘HMS Bubble’ – likely to be at the funeral.

    The Earl Peel had overseen arrangements for the Philip’s funeral – known as Operation Forth Bridge – before handing responsibility to his successor, former MI5 spy chief Baron Parker, just over a week before the duke died peacefully at Windsor Castle.

  • COVID DEATHS DROP BY 16 PERCENT

    Covid deaths in the UK have dropped by 16 per cent in a week – with 38 more fatalities recorded today.

    A further 2,491 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the last 24 hours, bringing the UK’s total infection toll to 4,378,305.

    Today’s Covid fatalities bring the grim death total since the beginning of the pandemic to 127,161.

    Yesterday, 2,472 new cases of the virus were recorded in the UK, while a further 23 people lost their lives to the deadly bug.

    And one week ago on April 7, the daily infection rate was at 2,763 – and the daily death toll stood at 45.

    But Britain’s vaccine programme is still going full steam ahead- with 32,326,604 people having received their first jab as of April 13.

  • LOWEST CASES IN EUROPE

  • CLUSTER OF SOUTH AFRICAN VARIANT COULD UNDERMINE EASING OF LOCKDOWN

    Lockdown could be put into reverse due to the “very concerning” South African variant, scientists saw.

    A large cluster of the strain has been reported in London, where residents have been urged to get a test immediately.

    Prof Peter Openshaw, a member of a Sage group – the Covid-19 clinical information network – told BBC2’s Newsnight: “A lot of we scientists are very concerned about what’s happening at the moment.

    “I think we’re all just hoping that the staged reduction in lockdown is going to be ok. It is being done reasonably cautiously but I think this is not good news.

    “If we get rapid spread of the South African or other more resistant variants, it may well be that we are going to have to put the reductions of lockdown into reverse.”

  • ATM VISITS COULD INCREASE AS PARTS OF ENGLAND’S ECONOMY ARE REOPENED

    The reopening of more businesses from Monday could prompt more visits to cash machines, although some shoppers may have changed their habits for good.

    Shops, hairdressers and pub beer gardens are among those reopening from April 12 in England as the next step in the road map out of lockdown is taken.

    A boss at Link, the UK’s main ATM network, said it would be interesting to see how many people are paying for their first rounds in the pub in “good old cash”, and how many are turning to cards.

    ATM use plunged early on in the coronavirus lockdowns, with some retailers discouraging shoppers from using cash.

    However, Bank of England research has previously indicated that the risk of catching coronavirus from banknotes is low.

  • VACCINES GENERATE SIMILAR ANTIBODY RESPONSES IN ‘VERY ENCOURAGING’ FINDINGS

    The Pfizer and AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines generate similar antibody responses among over-80s five weeks after receiving the first dose, according to research.

    The study, led by UK scientists, also found that those receiving the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab showed a stronger response in a group of immune cells, known as T cells, when compared with the Pfizer/BioNtech jab. The team described the findings as “very encouraging”, saying both vaccines show good clinical effectiveness after a single dose among older age groups.

    Dr Helen Parry, National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) academic clinical lecturer at the University of Birmingham, and first author on the study, said: “In our study we were able to detect antibody responses in most people aged 80 or above, five weeks after a single dose of either the Pfizer or AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.

    “These antibody responses are very encouraging as they back up the strong real-world data we are seeing in the UK.”

  • QUARTER OF VIRUS DEATHS NOT CAUSED BY COVID

    Almost a quarter of registered Covid deaths were not caused by the virus, new official figures reveal.

    Data from the Office for National Statistics shows 23 per cent of coronavirus fatalities are now people who have died “with” the virus rather than from an infection.

    This means the disease was not the primary cause of death recorded on death certificates, despite the person who died testing positive for Covid.

    Other data also shows an increasingly positive picture of the state of the pandemic in Britain.

    Daily death figures by “date of death” reveal that Britain has had no more than 28 deaths a day since the beginning of April.

    Meanwhile, the government announced deaths have been as high as 60.

    This is because officials give a daily update on deaths based on the number reported that day, which can include deaths from days or weeks previously.

  • DOWNING ST TO SIGN OFF ON HOLIDAY DESTINATIONS BY ‘EARLY MAY’

    Brits will know which summer destinations will be deemed safe in weeks – as hopes for foreign holidays ramp up.

    Downing Street will sign off a list of ‘green’ covid secure holiday hotspots in “early May” according to Aviation Minister Robert Courts.

    But he warned eager Brits to hold off booking until the full list is published to a “avoid a risk of disappointment.”

    It comes as easyJet Chief Johan Lundgren said he expects ministers to add top European vacation spots to the green list.

  • YOUNG WOMAN WHO STRUGGLED WITH LOCKDOWN TOOK HER OWN LIFE

    A ‘beautiful’ daughter was found dead by her heartbroken mum after staying behind while her family went on holiday, an inquest heard.

    Ruby Leaity, 23, made the last minute decision to stay at home when her family travelled to the countryside for a short break last year.

    Sitting at Portsmouth Coroner’s Court, Mr Pegg concluded a verdict of suicide.

    He added: “It seems to me that the events in her life, the consequences of lockdown affecting many of those in this country, the fact she had been sacked from her job and the recent loss of her beloved dog as well as something clearly going on in terms of Ruby’s relationship – perhaps she was hoping to see someone else and that had not worked out.”

    Ruby Leaity was found dead by her mum when she returned from a holiday
    Ruby Leaity was found dead by her mum when she returned from a holiday
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  • TOO EARLY TO SAY WHICH COUNTRIES OPEN FOR BRITISH TRAVELLERS SAYS MINISTER

    It is too early to say which countries will be on Britain’s green list for travel, UK aviation minister Robert Courts said on Wednesday, after easyJet’s chief executive forecast that most European countries would be on the list.

    “It wouldn’t be right for me to speculate as to which countries in which areas of the world are likely to be on which list. We will have to look at the right time, it’s too early to say at the moment,” Courts told a parliamentary committee.

    He said the government would say which country would fall into which category in “the early part of May”, repeating guidance given last week.

  • PUBLIC URGED TO GET TESTED IN BID TO STAMP OUT SOUTH AFRICAN COVID VARIANT

    Hundreds of thousands of people are being urged to get tested to try and stamp out a “concerning” strain of the virus which causes Covid-19.

    One expert said “none” of the vaccines are as effective against the South African variant – though studies suggest that the jabs still prevent severe disease and death.

    Rapid surge testing has been deployed in four London boroughs – with all adults in Wandsworth and Lambeth being asked to get a test and people in specific areas of Barnet and Southwark also invited to perform at test.

    The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said Boris Johnson took the situation “very seriously” and recommended for everyone to “take up that invitation” to get tested.

  • ‘NOTHING TO SUGGEST’ THAT PUBLIC ‘AREN’T BEHAVING RESPONSIBLY’ SINCE LOCKDOWN EASED SAYS NO 10

    There is “nothing to suggest” that the public “aren’t behaving responsibly” since the lockdown was eased this week, according to Downing Street.

    The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “I think the Prime Minister, as he made clear in his clip, wants the public – as the vast majority have done throughout – to continue to behave responsibly, follow the guidelines – hands, face, space and, importantly, fresh air as well.

    “We’re confident that the public, as they have done throughout, will do that to help continue to drive down infections further.”

    Asked if No 10 thought people understood the new rules, the spokesman added: “There is nothing to suggest that the vast majority of the public, as they have done throughout, aren’t behaving responsibly.”

  • 23,840,000 PHYSICAL HIGH FIVES MISSED OVER LOCKDOWN

    Tomorrow it’s National High Five Day – that moment when you could usually raise your hand to a mate and give them a good old high five. Oh wait, but you can’t.

    Kopparberg, who know a thing or two about good times with your friends, has figured out that the UK missed out on a whopping 25,840,000 physical high fives since the start of last year*. That’s a lot of missed moments with your mates. But fear not…

    Tomorrow, Kopparberg is going to give those good vibes back by asking people to high five, but on Twitter… That’s right – if you retweet (RT) Kopparberg and high five them back digitally, you could win the ultimate summer bundle of Kopparberg products worth over £200, ready for you and your mates to kick start the summer. 

    To be in with the chance of winning, head to @KopparbergUK on Twitter, give Kopparberg a retweet and a digital high five and you and your friends will be in with the chance of winning a £200 Kopparberg sharing hamper to kick start your Kopparberg summer. 



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