Covid news UK latest: Millions to get winter coronavirus booster jab from September to help 'keep virus at bay'

A COVID vaccination booster programme could begin for 32 million Britons as soon as September, officials have said.

New interim guidance from experts advising the Government sets out the priority list for who should get a third jab if a booster programme is needed.

The plans have been drawn up to ensure the NHS is prepared for any possible booster jab campaign while officials await more data on whether a third vaccine is required to bolster protection over the winter months.

It will coincide with the rollout of flu jabs, which health officials have said will be vital this winter as they prepare for a potentially difficult influenza season.

The UK is the first country in the world to publish interim guidance on a Covid-19 vaccine booster campaign, though a number of other countries are considering proposals.

Meanwhile, Brits heading abroad might soon be able to use their NHS app to prove vaccination status when they fly to Europe.

Tourists could be allowed to bypass quarantine if they can prove they are double jabbed, show a negative test before departure or provide evidence they have caught the bug in the past 180 days.

Read our Coronavirus blog below for the latest news and updates...

  • Joseph Gamp

    GRAPHIC: COVID VACCINATIONS IN THE UK

  • Joseph Gamp

    COVID-19 BOOSTER JABS COULD BEGIN FOR 32M BRITONS IN SEPTEMBER

    A Covid-19 vaccination booster programme could begin for 32 million Britons as soon as September, officials have said.

    New interim guidance from experts advising the Government sets out the priority list for who should get a third jab if a booster programme is needed.

    The plans have been drawn up to ensure the NHS is prepared for any possible booster jab campaign while officials await more data on whether a third vaccine is required to bolster protection over the winter months.

    It will coincide with the rollout of flu jabs, which health officials have said will be vital this winter as they prepare for a potentially difficult influenza season.

    The UK is the first country in the world to publish interim guidance on a Covid-19 vaccine booster campaign, though a number of other countries are considering proposals. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) interim guidance sets out two stages for the Covid-19 booster programme:

  • Joseph Gamp

    LABOUR DEMANDS PROBE AFTER EMAILS SUGGEST VIP 'FAST TRACK' FOR COVID TESTING

    Labour is calling for an investigation into claims of a "VIP lane" for coronavirus testing contracts after documents emerged suggesting bids from companies with political connections were fast tracked.

    A senior civil servant advised ministers in an email in April last year to write "FASTTRACK" on any offers they received for testing kits, according to documents revealed by the Good Law Project.

    The emails were disclosed by the campaign group as part of its legal challenge against the Government over personal protective equipment (PPE) contracts.

    The Good Law Project says millions of pounds of equipment was purchased in April and May 2020 without proper technical checks, at inflated prices, as a result of contracts provided through a "VIP lane".

    The email to ministers, seen by the PA news agency, shows ministers were told to forward requests from those who wanted to supply tests to a dedicated email address, where they would be "triaged".

  • Joseph Gamp

    CONTINUED… OFFICIAL COVID-19 SYMPTOM LIST 'MAY MISS MANY CASES'

    Of these, 42% had a cough, 39% reported headache and 38% reported fatigue, according to the ONS.

    Muscle ache was reported by a quarter of people and 32% reported having a sore throat.

    Meanwhile a third reported fever and 21% reported loss of smell and 15% reported loss of taste.

    A separate study – the Zoe Covid Symptom study – recently reported that a headache, sore throat and runny nose are now the most commonly reported symptoms.

    Writing in the BMJ, Dr Alex Crozier and colleagues – including Professor Calum Semple who is a member of the Government scientific advisory group Sage – suggest that limiting testing to only people with fever, cough and a change in taste or smell could "miss or delay identification of many Covid cases".

  • Joseph Gamp

    OFFICIAL COVID-19 SYMPTOM LIST 'MAY MISS MANY CASES'

    The official list of Covid-19 symptoms should be expanded as the existing one could "miss many Covid-19 cases", experts have argued.

    The UK should follow other countries and include a broader range of symptoms that have been linked to a Covid-19 infection, according to a group of scientists, including one of the experts advising the Government on the pandemic response.

    Classic symptoms of Covid-19, according to the NHS website, are a high temperature, a new continuous cough and/or a loss or change to a person's sense of smell or taste.

    But the most commonly reported symptoms by people taking part in the Office for National Statistics Covid-19 Infection Survey are cough, headache and fatigue.

    The latest ONS release shows 61% of people who tested positive reported symptoms.

  • Joseph Gamp

    UK RECORDS 20,479 NEW COVID-19 CASES AND 23 NEW DEATHS

    The UK has reported 20,479 new COVID-19 cases and 23 deaths within 28 days of a positive test, official government data showed.

    Today’s figures are compared to 22,868 cases and 3 deaths reported yesterday.

  • Joseph Gamp

    JUST OVER 1% OF LONG COVID CASES RECORDED BY GPS

    Only a small minority of cases of long Covid are being recorded by GPs, a study has suggested.

    Previous research estimated that as many as two million people in England are suffering ongoing symptoms after a Covid-19 infection.

    A new study has found that only 23,273 cases were formally recorded between February 2020 and April 2021 at GP practices.

    Experts analysed data from GP records of 57.9 million patients in England – about 96% of GP patients across the nation.

    More than a quarter of practices (26.7%) had never logged a case, according to the article in the British Journal of General Practice.

  • Joseph Gamp

    COVID-19 PATIENTS ON VENTILATORS AT HIGHEST LEVEL FOR MORE THAN TWO MONTHS

    The number of Covid-19 patients on ventilators in England's hospitals has climbed to its highest level for more than two months, new figures show.

    Analysis by the PA news agency shows that the average number of patients in hospitals in England is also increasing, with younger people driving the rise.

    It comes as new data shows that as of 9am on Wednesday, there had been a further 26,068 lab-confirmed Covid-19 cases in the UK, the highest daily figure since January 29. Another 24 deaths were also recorded.

    The PA analysis of NHS figures shows that the average number of patients with Covid-19 in England in mechanical ventilation beds stood at 245 on June 29.

  • Joseph Gamp

    SEA-ING GREEN

    The UK’s traffic light travel system has now been updated and the Balearic Islands, Malta and Madeira have now been added to the green list.

    Other nations turning green today include Barbados, Antigua, Grenada, Dominica, Barbuda, the Cayman Islands and Bermuda.

    In a major win for summer holidays, the bumper list of new destinations where Brits can travel without quarantining on their return to England opened up from 4am today.

    All 16 green list additions except Malta are on a “watch list” which means they could revert to amber.

    The announcement has been welcomed by cash-starved airlines, travel companies and holidaymakers longing for a post-pandemic retreat after months in lockdown.

  • Joseph Gamp

    CAN YOU GET THE VIRUS IF YOU'VE HAD THE JAB?

    No vaccine is 100 per cent effective and the Covid jabs are no different.

    It takes up to two weeks for the vaccines to kick in, so during that period of time you are still vulnerable to infection.

    If you test positive for Covid after your vaccine it's likely that you had contracted it before you were given your jab.

    You cannot catch the virus from the vaccine, so it's likely you were already carrying the bug on inoculation.

  • Joseph Gamp

    PICTURED: THE UK'S NEW COVID CAMPAIGN BOOSTER PLAN

  • Joseph Gamp

    MAPPED: THE FIVE AREAS WHERE COVID CASES ARE RISING THE FASTEST

  • Joseph Gamp

    SAJID JAVID CONFIRMS JULY 19 AS DATE FOR ENGLAND’S LOCKDOWN RESTRICTIONS TO END

    Boris Johnson and his new Health Secretary Sajid Javid have confirmed their intention for July 19 to mark the end of England’s lockdown restrictions.

    Mr Javid resisted pressure from Tory MPs to bring forward the date of Step 4 of the road map, but he said there was “no reason” why the July 19 deadline would not be met.

    The Prime Minister signalled that the “terminus” date would mean going “back to life as it was before Covid as far as possible”.

    In his first Commons statement since replacing Matt Hancock, Mr Javid told MPs: “There remains a big task ahead of us to restore our freedoms – freedoms that, save for the greatest of circumstances, no government should ever wish to curtail.

    “So my task is to help return the economic and cultural life that makes this country so great while of course protecting life and our NHS.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    COVID-19 BOOSTER JABS COULD BEGIN FOR 32M BRITONS IN SEPTEMBER

    A Covid-19 vaccination booster programme could begin for 32 million Britons as soon as September, officials have said.

    New interim guidance from experts advising the Government sets out the priority list for who should get a third jab if a booster programme is needed.

    The plans have been drawn up to ensure the NHS is prepared for any possible booster jab campaign while officials await more data on whether a third vaccine is required to bolster protection over the winter months.

    It will coincide with the rollout of flu jabs, which health officials have said will be vital this winter as they prepare for a potentially difficult influenza season.

    The UK is the first country in the world to publish interim guidance on a Covid-19 vaccine booster campaign, though a number of other countries are considering proposals.

  • Joseph Gamp

    EXTRA HELP

    Martin Lewis has reminded parents they could be eligible for a £500 payment if their kids are sent home from school.

    The Money Saving Expert founder tweeted that low-income households could receive the payment if they have to care for children sent home to isolate.

    The money is available if you receive certain benefits and have to miss out on work to look after a child under 15.

    If they have been sent home to self-isolate because another child in class or in their bubble has tested positive for Covid, you could claim the one-off grant for the full 10 days they will have to stay off school.

    In the tweet that was posted this morning, Martin said: “Spread word. Many children are being sent home by school due to someone in class or year group bubble testing positive for Covid.

    “If so, and you then can’t work due to needing to be home with them, this (not just NHS test and trace) can trigger the £500 payment for those on low incomes.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    BREAKING POINT

    Brits could be released from Covid restrictions and enter into a mental health pandemic, an expert has warned.

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson has consistently highlighted the “roadmap out of lockdown”, but the mental health of the nation has taken a back seat during the pandemic.

    The government has failed to address the dark side of lockdowns, Dr Raj Persaud fears.

    Over the last year over a fifth of people in Britain have experienced some form of depression – more than double the pre-pandemic figure, data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) states.

    It was also previously reported that the pandemic is the “greatest threat to mental health” since the second world war and others have bravely spoken out about how the impact of the pandemic made them want to take their lives.

  • Joseph Gamp

    NOT APPY

    Malta has announced even more restrictions for travellers from the UK – Brits now need a letter from the NHS proving they are double vaccinated to enter the country.

    The Maltese government is refusing to accept proof of vaccination on the NHS app because it believes the QR code can be easily forged.

    According to the Travel Gossip website, they prefer a letter from the NHS because it holds a bar code that is harder to copy.

    The advice on the FCO website says:” From 30 June 2021, the Maltese authorities have announced that they will require all arrivals from the United Kingdom to present proof of full vaccination. Only the paper version of the NHS Covid letter will be accepted.”

    The change in rules could spell a nightmare for holidaymakers heading out to the island nation this week though, because of the length of time it takes to acquire proof of vaccination letter.

  • Joseph Gamp

    GRAPH: UK COVID-19 CASES AND DEATHS PER DAY

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    UPDATED COVID VACCINATION RATE

    A total of 65,135,293 Covid-19 vaccinations had taken place in England between December 8 and June 29, according to NHS England data, including first and second doses, which is a rise of 230,860 on the previous day.

    NHS England said 37,497,766 were first doses, a rise of 115,376 on the previous day, while 27,637,527 were a second dose, an increase of 115,484.

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    CASE BY CASE

    The UK’S daily Covid case figure has risen by over 20,000 again as Europe clamps down on Brit holidaymakers amid the rise of the Delta variant.

    A further 23 people have died from the virus in the last 24 hours – while infections have risen by 20,479.

    Today’s figure brings Britain’s grim Covid death toll to 128,126.

    And now, a total of 4,775,301 people have been infected with coronavirus since the pandemic began last year.

    This is the second day in a row that Covid cases have risen into the 20,000s – a concerning figure as Brits prepare to unlock next month.

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    NOT APPY

    Malta has announced even more restrictions for travellers from the UK – Brits now need a letter from the NHS proving they are double vaccinated to enter the country.

    The Maltese government is refusing to accept proof of vaccination on the NHS app because it believes the QR code can be easily forged.

    According to the Travel Gossip website, they prefer a letter from the NHS because it holds a bar code that is harder to copy.

    The advice on the FCO website says:” From 30 June 2021, the Maltese authorities have announced that they will require all arrivals from the United Kingdom to present proof of full vaccination. Only the paper version of the NHS Covid letter will be accepted.”

    The change in rules could spell a nightmare for holidaymakers heading out to the island nation this week though, because of the length of time it takes to acquire proof of vaccination letter.

  • [email protected]

    SEA-ING GREEN

    The UK’s traffic light travel system has now been updated and the Balearic Islands, Malta and Madeira have now been added to the green list.

    Other nations turning green today include Barbados, Antigua, Grenada, Dominica, Barbuda, the Cayman Islands and Bermuda.

    In a major win for summer holidays, the bumper list of new destinations where Brits can travel without quarantining on their return to England opened up from 4am today.

    All 16 green list additions except Malta are on a “watch list” which means they could revert to amber.

    The announcement has been welcomed by cash-starved airlines, travel companies and holidaymakers longing for a post-pandemic retreat after months in lockdown.

  • [email protected]

    CAN YOU GET THE VIRUS IF YOU'VE HAD THE JAB?

    No vaccine is 100 per cent effective and the Covid jabs are no different.

    It takes up to two weeks for the vaccines to kick in, so during that period of time you are still vulnerable to infection.

    If you test positive for Covid after your vaccine it's likely that you had contracted it before you were given your jab.

    You cannot catch the virus from the vaccine, so it's likely you were already carrying the bug on inoculation.

  • [email protected]

    PAY BACK

    Thousands of parents will be forced to cough up for any child maintenance fees they haven’t paid as single parents miss out on £408 million.

    Parents in the UK legally have to support their children financially – so if a couple has separated, one parent will have to pay child maintenance to the other.

    Payments can be arranged privately, but if your ex is refusing to pay, or not paying what they should be, you can arrange payments through the Child Maintenance Service (CMS).

    But new figures released from the Department for Work and Pensions, which oversees the service, reveal that unpaid child maintenance payments has reached a whopping £408.3million since the scheme began in 2012.

    This equals 9% of all payments due to be paid.

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    SAJID JAVID CONFIRMS JULY 19 AS DATE FOR ENGLAND’S LOCKDOWN RESTRICTIONS TO END

    Boris Johnson and his new Health Secretary Sajid Javid have confirmed their intention for July 19 to mark the end of England’s lockdown restrictions.

    Mr Javid resisted pressure from Tory MPs to bring forward the date of Step 4 of the road map, but he said there was “no reason” why the July 19 deadline would not be met.

    The Prime Minister signalled that the “terminus” date would mean going “back to life as it was before Covid as far as possible”.

    In his first Commons statement since replacing Matt Hancock, Mr Javid told MPs: “There remains a big task ahead of us to restore our freedoms – freedoms that, save for the greatest of circumstances, no government should ever wish to curtail.

    “So my task is to help return the economic and cultural life that makes this country so great while of course protecting life and our NHS.”

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