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Coronavirus news LIVE – Travel chaos as UK's Indian variant hotspots suddenly restricted to 'essential visits only'

THERE is travel confusion across the UK today after several areas were quietly slapped with 'essential travel only' restrictions.

Eight Indian variant hotspots across Britain – including Blackburn with Darwen, Bolton, Leicester and the London borough of Hounslow – were added to a list of restricted areas on a government website last Friday.

But there was fury as local political leaders and residents weren't even told about the new rules, leading to confusion over how many may have been infected as a result of people not being aware of the new rules in place.

The rules mean people living in those areas must only meet up outside, remain two metres apart and avoid leaving the area.

Yasmin Qureshi, Labour MP for Bolton South East, said she was “gobsmacked” to learn about the new rules, adding "I was not informed of this and I understand nor was anyone else in Bolton.

"They're making such an important announcement and they don’t even have the decency to tell us or tell our constituents. This is typical of this government's incompetence," she added.

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

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    BRITS UNDER 30 COULD BE OFFERED COVID VACCINE WITHIN DAYS

    Brits under 30 could be offered their Covid vaccine by the end of the week – as hopes for June 21’s unlocking rise.

    It comes after worries the Indian variant could delay “Freedom Day”, but as the speedy jabs rollout continues experts say the signs are now “looking good”.

    Last week the age eligability for vaccines was lowered three times – with those aged 32 and 33 now able to book in.

    It is expected to be lowered further within days, with under 30s offered their slots at the end of the week.

    It brings fresh hope for the full unlocking next month, after the variant’s emergence cast doubt on the roadmap.

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    VACCINE HESITANCY RISES IN THAILAND

     Vaccine hesitancy has risen sharply in Thailand opinion polls show, just weeks away from the start of a mass inoculation programme and as the country fights its deadliest Covid-19 outbreak.

    Reasons for the rise in vaccine hesitancy were unclear in the polls, but there are widespread complaints at government disorganisation, delays in getting vaccines and reliance on Sinovac and locally made AstraZeneca doses.

    Thailand has reported 135,439 infections and 832 deaths since the pandemic began last year.

    In January, 83% of Thais surveyed by polling firm YouGov were willing to be vaccinated, but by May that dropped to 63% in the same poll, lower than Vietnam and the Philippines at 83% and 66% willingness, respectively.

    Thai-based Suan Dusit Poll on Sunday echoed the YouGov findings of rising vaccine hesitancy, with 64% of respondents willing to be vaccinated, compared with 66% in January.

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    MINSTER URGES PEOPLE IN LOCAL LOCKDOWN TO CONSIDER WHETHER ITS "ESSENTIAL" TO TRAVEL

    People living in areas where the Indian variant is spreading should consider "whether it really is essential" for them to travel, the Work and Pensions Secretary told ITV's Good Morning Britain.

    Asked whether a family from Bolton, where new guidance calling on people to limit their interactions and travel has been issued, should go ahead with half-term holiday plans to a "green list" country, Therese Coffey said: "I'm not going to give individual travel guidance on some hypothetical situations to people in different parts of the country.

    "The guidance is very clear that people need to consider whether it really is essential.

    "I'm conscious that the green list is there, it is there for a purpose because we recognise the amount of transmission in that country is very low, so the risks of bringing the variant back into the UK are very low, and that's why we have the process that we have.

    "But I think people just need to consider carefully the risks that they are under themselves."

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    MAP OF LOCAL LOCKDOWNS

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    COVID DISRUPTION COULD INCREASE CANCER MORTALITY FOR ‘NEXT DECADE’, MEDIC WARNS

    Delays to cancer diagnosis and treatment caused by Covid-19 could increase cancer mortality for the “next decade”, a consultant medical oncologist has warned.

    Professor Seamus O’Reilly, of Cork University Hospital and the Mercy University Hospital, said the pandemic has “enormous implications” for time-dependent cancer care.

    He added that the health service will struggle to cope with the backlog of patients without hiring additional oncologists and other medical specialists.

    The professor made the remarks on behalf of the Irish Hospital Consultants Association (IHCA) during European Week Against Cancer.

    “The Covid pandemic has impacted cancer services. Patients were concerned about coming into hospital. Services had to be curtailed due to social distancing and redeployment of staff. Our health service still has not returned to normal. This has enormous implications, and our concern as oncologists is of delayed cancer diagnosis occurring as a result.”

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    VACC TO THE START

    Fully vaccinated Brits will reportedly still need to self-isolate if they come into contact with people infected with Covid – even after lockdown ends on June 21.

    Plans for 10-day quarantines for those who are exposed to the bug after getting both jabs will impact plans for a return to normality next month.

    Brits could be put off from going to crowded places if there's a risk they will have to self-isolate.

    Employers may also be reluctant for vaccinated and unvaccinated workers to mix together for the same reason.

    Fully vaccinated people in the United States only need to quarantine if they show symptoms after coming into contact with someone who has Covid.

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    BRAZIL NEARS 450,000 COVID-19 DEATHS

    Brazil’s Healthy Ministry on Monday registered 790 new COVID-19 deaths in the past 24 hours and 37,498 new cases of coronavirus.

    The country has confirmed 449,858 deaths from the virus out of more than 16 million confirmed cases since the pandemic began, according to ministry data.

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    IRELAND EXPECTED TO ADOPT VACCINE PASSPORTS

    Ireland is expected to adopt a Covid-19 certificate to help citizens move more freely across the European Union from mid-July, the Irish Times reported on Tuesday, quoting people involved in discussions in government.

    Ireland's health minister said last week that the government may introduce the so-called "green certificate" earlier than late July, as previously flagged, amid mounting pressure from airlines and employers to reopen foreign travel.

    Ireland has the strictest travel restrictions in the 27-nation bloc. It advises citizens against non-essential travel, imposing fines on people heading to airports to go on holiday and a two-week mandatory hotel quarantine for arrivals from a number of countries.

    A Covid certificate would be handed out for free by health authorities in EU countries to people who received a vaccine, had a negative test or are immune, having recovered from the virus.

    Ireland's government will announce its plans for the resumption of international travel on Friday, alongside a timetable for the further easing of Covid-19 restrictions on the tourism, entertainment and hospitality sectors.

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    WATCH: PROFESSOR WARNS ABOUT CONFUSION OVER INDIAN VARIANT

    Professor John Ashton warns of confusion as as Government tells Brits not to travel in and out of 8 Indian Covid hotspots

     

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    BRITS UNDER 30 COULD BE OFFERED COVID VACCINE WITHIN DAYS

    Brits under 30 could be offered their Covid vaccine by the end of the week – as hopes for June 21’s unlocking rise.

    It comes after worries the Indian variant could delay “Freedom Day”, but as the speedy jabs rollout continues experts say the signs are now “looking good”.

    Last week the age eligability for vaccines was lowered three times – with those aged 32 and 33 now able to book in.

    It is expected to be lowered further within days, with under 30s offered their slots at the end of the week.

    It brings fresh hope for the full unlocking next month, after the variant’s emergence cast doubt on the roadmap.

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    HALF OF WEEKEND VACCINE APPOINTMENTS MISSED AT GLASGOW’S SSE HYDRO

    Around half the coronavirus vaccine appointments at a major concert venue and vaccination centre this weekend were missed, it has emerged.

    The PA news agency understands there were many cancellations and non-attendances on Saturday and Sunday at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow amid rising case numbers in the city.

    The concert venue originally formed part of the NHS Louisa Jordan hospital, which closed at the end of March having opened in the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) last year, and has the capacity to administer up to 10,000 jabs per day.

    A statement from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) said: “We want to thank everyone who has come forward for a vaccine so far.

    “We’ve had incredible success to date and this is a testament to the hard work of all those staff from across NHSGGC who have been involved in the rollout of the programme.

    “We have now vaccinated over 98% of people over the age 50 with their first dose.

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    DAILY UK COVID DEATHS FALL TO THREE BUT CASES UP 17% IN A WEEK

    UK Covid deaths have fallen with three deaths reported today – almost half the grim number a week ago.

    But new cases have risen 17 per cent since last Monday, with 2,439 new infections in the last 24 hours.

    The Indian variant has created hotspots of outbreaks around the country, with numbers rising swiftly in the past few weeks.

    But the vaccine rollout is continuing at pace to tackle the rise of the variant.

    Jabs are stopping people getting seriously ill or dying – with Pfizer and AstraZeneca’s vaccines proven to be effective against it with two doses.

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    MINISTER 'SURPRISED' MPs DO NOT FEEL INFORMED ABOUT INDIAN VARIANT

    Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey said she was "surprised" to hear that MPs in areas impacted by new guidance around the Indian variant did not feel properly informed.

    Speaking to Sky News, Ms Coffey said: "The Prime Minister set out that we need to take extra caution in certain areas regarding the Indian variant.

    "It is good practice to formally put that guidance on the record affecting those communities.

    "We have been working in close contact, so I'm surprised to hear that people think this has come out of the blue – it hasn't.

    "It is about formalising on the record the guidance which we believe people can and should follow in order to make sure we tackle and don't have more spread of the Indian variant."

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    FLIGHTS TO SPAIN EXPECTED TO SOAR TO 80% A DAY

    Flights to Spain are now expected to soar to 80 per cent a day – meaning an estimated 16,000 passengers are set to fly to the popular holiday destination.

    Despite the surge in flights, the PM and government have warned Brits not to travel to Spain as it remains on the amber list.

    Return to the UK from amber-listed countries means travellers will need to self-isolate for ten days and will also have to take a PCR test on day two and day eight of self-isolation. 

    The advice remains for Spain, according to the Foreign Office website today: “We continue to advise against all but essential travel to Spain, including the Balearic Islands, but excluding the Canary Islands.”

  • Joseph Gamp

     SPAIN EXPECTS TO BE ADDED TO GREEN LIST ON JUNE 7 AS BRITS ARRIVE AFTER THE COUNTRY LIFTED TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS 

    Spain expects to be added to green list on June 7 as Brits arrive after the country lifted travel restrictions

  • Joseph Gamp

    HALF OF WEEKEND VACCINE APPOINTMENTS MISSED AT GLASGOW’S SSE HYDRO

    Around half the coronavirus vaccine appointments at a major concert venue and vaccination centre this weekend were missed, it has emerged.

    The PA news agency understands there were many cancellations and non-attendances on Saturday and Sunday at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow amid rising case numbers in the city.

    The concert venue originally formed part of the NHS Louisa Jordan hospital, which closed at the end of March having opened in the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) last year, and has the capacity to administer up to 10,000 jabs per day.

    A statement from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) said: “We want to thank everyone who has come forward for a vaccine so far.

    “We’ve had incredible success to date and this is a testament to the hard work of all those staff from across NHSGGC who have been involved in the rollout of the programme.

    “We have now vaccinated over 98% of people over the age 50 with their first dose.

  • Joseph Gamp

    COVID-19 TRAFFIC LIGHT TRAVEL LIST: WHAT COLOUR ARE SELECTED COUNTRIES?

  • Joseph Gamp

    BRITS UNDER 30 COULD BE OFFERED COVID VACCINE WITHIN DAYS

    Brits under 30 could be offered their Covid vaccine by the end of the week – as hopes for June 21’s unlocking rise.

    It comes after worries the Indian variant could delay “Freedom Day”, but as the speedy jabs rollout continues experts say the signs are now “looking good”.

    Last week the age eligability for vaccines was lowered three times – with those aged 32 and 33 now able to book in.

    It is expected to be lowered further within days, with under 30s offered their slots at the end of the week.

    It brings fresh hope for the full unlocking next month, after the variant’s emergence cast doubt on the roadmap.

  • Joseph Gamp

    BRITS DESPERATE TO SEE A DENTIST (CONTINUED…)

    A damning report from watchdog Healthwatch England suggests patients are being told they may not be seen until 2024 at the earliest.

    But the same surgeries are encouraging their patients to go private instead, offering appointments within a week.

    The majority cannot afford the costly service, leading to a chaotic hunt for an available dentist.

  • Joseph Gamp

    BRITS DESPERATE TO SEE A DENTIST ARE PULLING OWN TEETH OUT AMID THREE YEAR NHS WAIT

    BRITS who have been desperate to see a dentist during the pandemic have resorted to pulling their own teeth out.

    Practises have reported that they have “thousands” of people waiting to be seen with only a couple of dentists on hand.

    Someone who works at a dental practice in Cornwall said: “We have in excess of 8,000 patients and only two dentists, the waiting list for NHS dentist is years and we have so many enquiries every day and unable to help.”

    Delays are only worsening symptoms, leaving people with pain, swellings, and broken teeth, fillings and dentures. 

    Even those seeking emergency dental care by calling NHS 111 claim they were told to “use salt water” for relief. Other patients have been told to use DIY tooth filling kits while they wait for an appointment.

    Read more here.

  • Joseph Gamp

    CONTINUED…

    Even before the pandemic, cancer diagnoses were increasing at a rate of approximately 5% a year, Prof O'Reilly said, adding that Covid will further affect that number.

    "Cancer care is time-dependent," he said.

    "For example, colonoscopies are the gold standard of diagnosis for bowel cancers. Pre-pandemic, urgent referrals were seen within one month. Now, as a result of disruptions to service, 60% of referrals are waiting longer than three months."

    According to the IHCA, one in five hospital consultant posts are not filled as needed, meaning patients must wait longer for diagnosis and treatment.

    The organisation maintains that, until staffing levels are improved, the situation is unlikely to change.

  • Joseph Gamp

    COVID DISRUPTION COULD INCREASE CANCER MORTALITY FOR 'NEXT DECADE', MEDIC WARNS

    Delays to cancer diagnosis and treatment caused by Covid-19 could increase cancer mortality for the "next decade", a consultant medical oncologist has warned.

    Professor Seamus O'Reilly, of Cork University Hospital and the Mercy University Hospital, said the pandemic has "enormous implications" for time-dependent cancer care.

    He added that the health service will struggle to cope with the backlog of patients without hiring additional oncologists and other medical specialists.

    The professor made the remarks on behalf of the Irish Hospital Consultants Association (IHCA) during European Week Against Cancer.

    "The Covid pandemic has impacted cancer services. Patients were concerned about coming into hospital. Services had to be curtailed due to social distancing and redeployment of staff. Our health service still has not returned to normal. This has enormous implications, and our concern as oncologists is of delayed cancer diagnosis occurring as a result."

  • Joseph Gamp

    BRAZIL NEARS 450,000 COVID-19 DEATHS

    Brazil's Healthy Ministry on Monday registered 790 new COVID-19 deaths in the past 24 hours and 37,498 new cases of coronavirus.

    The country has confirmed 449,858 deaths from the virus out of more than 16 million confirmed cases since the pandemic began, according to ministry data.

  • Joseph Gamp

    FLIGHTS TO SPAIN EXPECTED TO SOAR TO 80% A DAY

    Flights to Spain are now expected to soar to 80 per cent a day – meaning an estimated 16,000 passengers are set to fly to the popular holiday destination.

    Despite the surge in flights, the PM and government have warned Brits not to travel to Spain as it remains on the amber list.

    Return to the UK from amber-listed countries means travellers will need to self-isolate for ten days and will also have to take a PCR test on day two and day eight of self-isolation. 

    The advice remains for Spain, according to the Foreign Office website today: “We continue to advise against all but essential travel to Spain, including the Balearic Islands, but excluding the Canary Islands.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    CHART: COVID-19 JABS GIVEN SO FAR

    Source: Read Full Article