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Vaccines to be offered to over-25s, as Hancock says jabs keeping patients out of hospital

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Over-25s can book Covid vaccine, Matt Hancock announces.mp4

Health secretary Matt Hancock has announced that people aged 25 and over can book their first coronavirus vaccine from tomorrow morning.

Mr Hancock told that House of Commons that although it’s too early to say whether or not the final Covid-19 restrictions should be lifted on 21 June, the vaccination rollout “brings us hope”.

He went on to say that vaccines have prevented an estimated 39,000 hospitalisations and over 13,000 deaths, and that the NHS is on track to vaccinate all adults by the end of July.

His announcements come amid rising Covid-19 case rates across most of the UK.

New analysis from PA suggests that around three quarters of local authorities reported a week-on-week rise in the week to 2 June – the highest proportion since early January.

A total of 283 out of 380 areas recorded an uptick in cases, with the greatest numbers in London, northwest England and Scotland.


Returning to normality ‘not in everyone’s best interests’

Returning to normality by ending the remaining coronavirus restrictions on 21 June may not be in everyone’s best interests, an expert has warned.

Ravi Gupta, a professor of clinical microbiology at Cambridge University, told BBC Breakfast that measures such as continued mask wearing and working from home should be considered even after the end of the roadmap out of lockdown is reached.

“I think that to go completely back to normal may not be in everyone’s best interests,” he said.

“We are not achieving the limitation of new infections in the way that we need to remain fully open as a society in the long term.

“We are in a situation where we could obtain huge gains just by a little bit more work.”

Dr Gupta added that “a few more weeks rather than months” are needed to make those gains.

Joanna Taylor7 June 2021 09:25

Waterloo and City line opens for first time since March 2020

The Waterloo and City line has reopened as commuters return to the London Underground.

The line, which links Waterloo to Bank, closed at the beginning of the pandemic and was due to reopen on 21 June.

But it has reopened early amid a surge of demand. Use of the tube has risen 20 per cent since 17 May, Transport for London say.

Joanna Taylor7 June 2021 09:42

Health Secretary Matt Hancock will make a statement at around 3:30pm to update the Commons about the government’s response to coronavirus.

This will be followed by a statement from Education Secretary Gavin Williamson on “education recovery” after the pandemic.

Joanna Taylor7 June 2021 09:56

PM faces rebellion after cutting aid spending during pandemic

Boris Johnson is facing a Tory revolt over his decision to cut Britain’s aid spending.

Senior party members, including Theresa May, Andrew Mitchell and David Davis, are pushing to reverse his decision to cut spending from 0.7 per cent of national income.

The 0.7 per cent target is written into law and was a Tory manifesto commitment in 2019, but the prime minister reduced it to 0.5 per cent during the pandemic.

Around 30 Tory MPs are hoping that an amendment - which could see a vote taken in parliament - will push the percentage back up.

Read more from The Independent’s Inside Politics team and sign up to their free newsletter here.

Boris Johnson hit by surprise Tory rebellion over aid cuts – your daily politics briefing

The prime minister is scrambling to avoid an embarrassing defeat during next week’s G7 summit, writes Adam Forrest

Joanna Taylor7 June 2021 10:09

Airport chaos in Portugal amid rush to return

Portugal’s main holiday airport, Faro, is the location for chaotic scenes as holidaymakers end their trips early to avoid quarantine.

More than 40 flights from the Algarve airport are scheduled to operate to the UK, carrying an estimated 7,000 passengers.

British Airways is deploying its biggest jet, the Boeing 777, to boost capacity in the evacuation.

Continue reading our travel correspondent Simon Calder’s coverage as holidaymakers rush home on the final day before Portugal is moved to the amber list:

Simon Calder’s expert answers to eight more of your travel questions

Ask Me Anything: the extended version as the chaos around the travel industry continues following the government’s latest restriction review last week throwing further uncertainty onto holiday plans

7 June 2021 10:45

Pakistani and Bangladeshi elderly least likely to be fully vaccinated, ONS figures show

Over-70s from Pakistani and Bangladeshi backgrounds have the lowest rates of full vaccination among all ethnic groups in England, new figures suggest.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), 82 per cent of Pakistani over-70s who had received their first vaccine dose were likely to have received their second by 9 May, compared to 96 per cent among that age group nationwide.

The equivalent figure for Bangladeshi over-70s is 83 per cent, and for those identifying as Black African it is 84 per cent. For people identifying as white British, the figure rises to 96 per cent.

The ONS data also suggests second dose rates differ slightly among the elderly of different religious groups.

The lowest uptake was among Muslim over-70s (84%), below Buddhists (93%), Hindus and Sikhs (both 95%), Christians (96%) and Jewish people (97%).

Joanna Taylor7 June 2021 11:20

Glasgow ‘fan zone’ proposals a ‘slap to the hospitality sector’

Glasgow should not face renewed coronavirus restrictions if the city’s planned football ‘fan zone’ causes a spike in cases, a hospitality boss has said.

Stephen Montgomery, a spokesperson for the Scottish Hospitality Group, told Good Morning Scotland that the city shouldn’t be “forced back into a Level 3 situation” if the fan zone is allowed to go ahead because “Glasgow didn’t ask for this”.

Up to 6,000 people could gather on Glasgow Green later this month during European Championship games in controversial plans the government are expected to give a final say on later this week.

Mr Montgomery also described the decision to allow alcohol at the fan zone a “slap to the hospitality sector”.

“We always were told that alcohol was one of the reasons why we weren’t allowed to open up inside and serve alcohol, because people’s inhibitions would go. But why are they allowing alcohol at the fan zone?” he said.

“We were told way back at the beginning of May by Glasgow City Council that there will be no alcohol at the fan zone - and now we’re having it. I think it’s an absolute slap to the hospitality sector within Glasgow.”

Fan zone attendees will be encouraged to test themselves before entry, but will not be required to show proof of a negative test.

Joanna Taylor7 June 2021 11:40

Case rates rising in more local areas than at any point since January

Coronavirus case rates are rising in more local areas in the UK than at any point since January, new analysis shows.

Nearly three quarters of local areas (283 out of 380) recorded a week-on-week rise in the seven days to 2 June - the highest proportion since 6 January.

Cases are rising in almost all parts of north-west England, London and Scotland.

But the rise in cases is yet to be mirrored by a steady increase in hospitalisations

The latest data shows patient numbers have climbed only slightly to levels last seen at end of May.

The analysis was conducted by PA, using Public Health England data.

Joanna Taylor7 June 2021 11:53

Blackburn with Darwen remains most virus-hit area in UK

Blackburn with Darwen in Lancashire still has the highest rate of new coronavirus cases in the UK, with 516 per 100,000 people in the week to 2 June.

A further 27 local authorities are currently recording rates above 100 per 100,000 - the highest number since 28 March.

These include Stockport, Trafford and Wigan in Greater Manchester and Chorley, Preston and Pendle in Lancashire.

In Scotland, Edinburgh and South Ayrshire have also surpassed the 100 cases per 100,000 people mark.

The UK’s overall rate was 42 per 100,000 in the week to 2 June.

Analysis by PA.

Joanna Taylor7 June 2021 12:11

Case rates rising in London, north-west England and Scotland

Coronavirus case rates are rising in the majority of local areas in London, the north-west of England and Scotland.

A total of 30 out of the 32 local authorities in London have seen a rise in cases, as have 35 out of 39 in the north-west and 31 out of 32 council areas in Scotland.

Nearly three quarters of local areas across the UK (283 out of 380) recorded a week-on-week rise in Covid-19 cases in the week to 2 June. Just under a half (134) saw a rise in the single figures.

Joanna Taylor7 June 2021 12:31

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