UK Covid Latest: Coronavirus cases DROP and death toll falls to 18 in UK today as PM plans to scrap school 'bubbles'

THE UK'S daily Covid cases have fallen in the last 24 hours with 24,855 Brits testing positive compared to 27,125 reported yesterday.

Meanwhile deaths have also fallen, with 18 reported compared to 27 yesterday.

Despite this, the number of people testing positive for Covid has still surged by almost 67 per cent in just a week.

The news comes as Boris Johnson is considering scrapping "bubbles" from schools and putting an end to pupils self-isolating following a positive Covid contact, it has been reported.

The PM is said to be working on a five-point rescue plan to help ease the impact of the pandemic on children amid growing pressure from MPs.

The Daily Telegraph reports details of the leaked eight-page plan which was written by officials in the Cabinet Office's Covid-19 task force.

One of the proposed changes would be to scrap "bubbles" from schools from July 19 – the earliest date England could reopen.

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

  • [email protected]

    WHEN DOES THE FURLOUGH SCHEME END AND WHAT ARE THE CHANGES?

    The furlough scheme is set to end in September and this date hasn't been extended despite delays to restrictions easing.

    The coronavirus job support scheme will continue to run for another two months, as it supports people's wages during the pandemic.

    Originally the scheme was only supposed to run until March this year but plans to extend it until September were outlined in the Budget a few months ago.

    The furlough scheme pays workers 80% of wages for hours not worked, up to £2,500 a month, supporting millions of workers during the pandemic.

    However, support has already started to wind down, even though "freedom day" has been postponed to July 19.

    Companies are now expected to start chipping in for the cost of paying furloughed workers.

    The delay to freedom day is due to covid rates increasing across the country and more cases of the delta variant being reported.

  • [email protected]

    PUPILS COULD BE FORCED TO WEAR MASKS AGAIN AS UNIONS CALL FOR RETURN

    Pupils could be forced to wear face masks in class AGAIN after calls from the UK’s largest education union for face coverings to be reimplemented from September.

    Abandoning face coverings in education centres should “absolutely” be reconsidered when kids return for the new school year if Covid infections remain high, the National Education Union said.

    Unions want the government to implement a number of measures in exchange for their support – such as face masks, better ventilation, and twice-weekly tests by public health officials to limit the spread in schools of the Delta variant.

    Dr Mary Bousted, the joint general secretary of the NEU, also wants ministers to scrap the “madness” of the bubble system that sends whole classes into isolation if one student tests positive, the Telegraph reports.

    The bubble system is proving a big headache for teachers and parents who are relentlessly left scrambling on short notice.

  • [email protected]

    WATCH: DAILY UK COVID CASES DROP TO 24,885 AS VIRUS DEATH TOLL FALLS TO 18 IN THE LAST 24 HOURS

    Daily UK Covid cases drop to 24,885 as virus death toll falls to 18 in the last 24 hours

  • [email protected]

    FRANCE AND ITALY ‘TO JOIN TRAVEL GREEN LIST THIS MONTH’

    France and Italy are among more than 20 nations set to join the green list of countries open to Brit holidaymakers, it has been reported.

    Stabilising Covid infection rates mean Brits could soon visit the countries without having to quarantine.

    It comes as holidaymakers have started to arrive in Majorca and Ibiza, just hours after the Balearic Islands, Malta and Madeira were added to the UK green list.

    Italy and France could join them before the end of the month, according to analysis by former British Airways strategy chief Robert Doyle, the Telegraph reports.

    He claims to have cracked the formula the government uses to decide which countries go on the green list to make his prediction.

    As well as the two Brit favourites other countries are Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Poland, Norway, Vietnam, Denmark, Slovakia, North Macedonia and the Czech Republic.

  • [email protected]

    VACCINES HAVE CUT LINK BETWEEN COVID INFECTIONS AND DEATHS, LEADING HEALTH OFFICIAL SAYS

    A leading health official says vaccines have cut the link between Covid infections and deaths.

    Former deputy chief medical officer Dr Jenny Harries’s comments came as England’s R rate fell yesterday for the first time in eight weeks.

    The head of the Health Security Agency said: “Although cases are rising, we are not seeing a proportional rise in the number of people who are being admitted to hospital.

    “The data suggests this is testament to the success of the vaccination programme and clearly demonstrates the importance of getting both doses of the vaccine.”

    Since May, Covid cases have shot up five-fold but the number of patients in hospital has not even doubled — there were just over 1,000 at the end of June.

  • [email protected]

    EXTRA SHOT

    Covid booster jabs are being lined up for over-50s in the UK this autumn to head off another spike in virus deaths.

    The NHS has been told to get ready for a rollout of third doses beginning as soon as September.

    Millions could get a third shot alongside the annual flu programme after advice from the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

    The JCVI, which advises the government on how to use vaccines in the UK, said that Brits “should be prepared” for another round of jabs.

    Ministers will make a final decision later in the summer about whether to use a booster campaign.

    The extra jabs could be called off if studies show they’re not needed, considering two vaccines are highly effective already.

  • [email protected]

    OUT OF CREDIT

    Hundreds of thousands of self-employed workers who claim Universal Credit will have their payments cut from next month.

    The government is reintroducing the Universal Credit minimum income floor in August – which will end a benefits boost for workers.

    It was temporarily removed in March 2020 as part of the emergency coronavirus budget.

    The suspension was to help self-employed Universal Credit claimants who would have lost income due to self-isolation or restrictions on trading in the pandemic.

    While it is suspended, those earning less than the minimum wage have been receiving extra benefits.

  • [email protected]

    BRITS SO DESPERATE FOR HOLS THEY CAN’T WAIT FOR AIRPORT QUEUES

    Sun-starved Brits miss overseas travel so much that they are even relishing the prospect of queuing at airport security, a survey has revealed.

    While the list of the 50 most-missed aspects of holidays is largely made up of feel-good things – like warm evenings and fantastic food – there were also some odd choices.

    These included packing and doing the holiday washing when you get home.

    A survey of 2,000 adults, commissioned by New York Bakery Co, found that one in four admit that not being able to go away has even made them miss things they used to complain about.

    According to the participants’ answers,  Spain, Italy and New York are the top three destinations Brits can’t wait to escape to when restrictions are lifted.

    Almost two thirds of Brits have missed out on a foreign trip this year.

  • [email protected]

    BRITS FLOCK TO BEACHES IN MAJORCA AFTER IT JOINS GREEN-LIST COUNTRIES

    Brit holidaymakers descended on beaches across Mallorca hours after island was added to the UK's green list.

    Some 94 flights are due to carry tourists Palma Airport on Saturday as No 10 says Brits travelling to the Balearic Islands no longer need to quarantine on return to the UK.

    The island's golden sandy beaches were jammed full of UK national enjoying the 30-plus degree weather.

    The tourists also made their presence felt on Magaluf's raucous Punta Ballena strip at night.

    Some ventured out in fancy dress and others with just shorts and no shirt after an afternoon of blistering heat.

    Police and Spain's armed Civil Guard are making sure revellers stick to Covid rules.

  • [email protected]

    HUNDREDS OF SWINGERS DESCEND ON FOUR-DAY SEX-FESTIVAL BOASTING MOBILE DUNGEON DESPITE COVID FEARS

    Up to 200 VERY happy campers descended on fields near Grantham, Lincolnshire, on Friday to take part in Swingathon, which was almost cancelled earlier this week.

    Couples who paid the £200 for a ticket will be able enjoy adult bouncy castles, a mobile dungeon, and participate in wet t-shirt competitions – all said to be "Covid compliant".

  • [email protected]

    WORLD’S DEADLIEST VIRUSES WERE ‘SHIPPED TO WUHAN LEAK LAB FROM CANADA BY ROGUE SCIENTISTS’

    Some of the world’s deadliest viruses were shipped to the Wuhan Institute of Virology from Canada by two rogue scientists with links to the Chinese military, it is reported.

    Bombshell documents revealed how a shipment of dangerous Ebola and Nipah viruses were sent in 2019 from Canada’s National Microbiology Lab to the Wuhan facility at the centre of the “lab leak” storm.

    The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) said it sent the 15 strains of viruses on a commercial flight to China “for the purpose of scientific research” in March, 2019.

    The package included a sample of the deadly zoonotic Nipah virus – which causes severe swelling of the brain, difficulty breathing and seizures.

    It also included several strains of the Ebola virus, which causes fevers, vomiting, diarrhoea as well as internal and external bleeding. The disease has claimed more than 11,300 lives in West Africa.

  • [email protected]

    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.

  • [email protected]

    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”

  • [email protected]

    BORIS JOHNSON URGED TO REFORM COVID SELF-ISOLATION RULES

    Boris Johnson is under pressure to overhaul Covid self-isolation rules before they "cripple" the economy, it's reported.

    Business leaders have called for reforms to the system, including the NHS Covid-19 App part of the NHS Test and Trace system which pings Brits who've come into contact with anyone carrying the virus.

    Contacts of Covid cases must self-isolate for 10 days, with fears up to a million Brits A DAY may have to quarantine if infections continue to rise.

    Bosses have said the self-isolation rule is causing chaos with firms left short-staffed.

    Hospitals, bars and restaurants are among the workplaces faced with absent workers forced to quarantine at home.

  • [email protected]

    DAILY CASES HAVE DROPPED

  • [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]

    BORIS WILL NOT ORDER BRITS BACK TO OFFICE 

    Boris Johnson is set to axe the government's work from home Covid guidance from July 19's 'Freedom Day', it's reported.

    But the Prime Minister would allow companies and staff to decide when they should return to the workplace, sources told the Daily Mail.

    Remaining lockdown restrictions are set to go once Step 4 of the government's roadmap kicks in on July 19.

    Firms are not expected to rush employees back once the 'work from home if you can guidance' is binned.

    And it will be up to businesses whether they ask employees to return to the office or continue working from home.

    Unlike last summer, where the government urged staff back to the office after the first lockdown, ministers are expected to leave the decision up to employers.

  • [email protected]

    FIVE-STAGE RESCUE PLAN

  • [email protected]

    WHEN DOES THE FURLOUGH SCHEME END AND WHAT ARE THE CHANGES?

    The furlough scheme is set to end in September and this date hasn't been extended despite delays to restrictions easing.

    The coronavirus job support scheme will continue to run for another two months, as it supports people's wages during the pandemic.

    Originally the scheme was only supposed to run until March this year but plans to extend it until September were outlined in the Budget a few months ago.

    The furlough scheme pays workers 80% of wages for hours not worked, up to £2,500 a month, supporting millions of workers during the pandemic.

    However, support has already started to wind down, even though "freedom day" has been postponed to July 19.

    Companies are now expected to start chipping in for the cost of paying furloughed workers.

    The delay to freedom day is due to covid rates increasing across the country and more cases of the delta variant being reported.

  • [email protected]

    PUPILS COULD BE FORCED TO WEAR MASKS AGAIN AS UNIONS CALL FOR RETURN

    Pupils could be forced to wear face masks in class AGAIN after calls from the UK’s largest education union for face coverings to be reimplemented from September.

    Abandoning face coverings in education centres should “absolutely” be reconsidered when kids return for the new school year if Covid infections remain high, the National Education Union said.

    Unions want the government to implement a number of measures in exchange for their support – such as face masks, better ventilation, and twice-weekly tests by public health officials to limit the spread in schools of the Delta variant.

    Dr Mary Bousted, the joint general secretary of the NEU, also wants ministers to scrap the “madness” of the bubble system that sends whole classes into isolation if one student tests positive, the Telegraph reports.

    The bubble system is proving a big headache for teachers and parents who are relentlessly left scrambling on short notice.

  • [email protected]

    CONTINUED: DELTA VARIANT

    Responding to the latest figures on the Delta variant, Dr Jenny Harries, chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency, said: “Cases across the UK continue to rise and it is incredibly important that we do not forget to be careful.

    “The best thing we can do to protect ourselves and the people we love is to get the vaccine if eligible, get tested twice a week and practise ‘hands, face, space, fresh air’ at all times.

    “Although cases are rising, we are not seeing a proportional rise in the number of people who are being admitted to hospital. The data suggest this is testament to the success of the vaccination programme so far and clearly demonstrates the importance of getting both doses of the vaccine.”

  • [email protected]

    DELTA VARIANT

    A total of 161,981 confirmed and probable cases of the Covid-19 Delta variant have now been identified in the UK, according to the latest figures from Public Health England – up by 50,824, or 46%, on the previous week.

    Of the 161,981 cases, 148,538 have been in England, 10,185 in Scotland, 1,749 in Wales and 1,509 in Northern Ireland.

    The Delta variant continues to account for approximately 95% of confirmed cases of coronavirus across the UK.

  • Harvey Lindsay

    BORIS CALLS FOR PATIENCE AS MPs CALL FOR AN END TO SCHOOL BUBBLES AFTER JULY 19

    Boris Johnson has urged parents, pupils and Tory MPs to be "patient" over calls to end isolation for entire school "bubbles" when lockdown restrictions in England are lifted later this month.

    Former party leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith is among 48 MPs to have signed a letter to the Prime Minister warning that the current policy is "disproportionate" and "unsustainable".

    The call came after official data showed that 279,000 children in England are isolating because of possible contact with a Covid-19 case.

    Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has suggested that school bubbles will end when classes return after the summer holidays in September.

    But the letter said it is essential that schools "go back to normal" when lockdown is lifted – set for July 19 – even if it is "just for the last few days of term".

    "This will send an important signal ahead of the autumn that the route to freedom is a 'one-way road' and genuinely 'irreversible'," the letter said.

  • Harvey Lindsay

    TORY BACKBENCHERS DEMAND RETURN TO NORMAL AFTER JULY 19

    Almost 50 Tory MPs have written to Boris Johnson to demand schools “go back to normal” when lockdown restrictions in England are lifted – set for July 19.

    Former party leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith is among 48 MPs who have signed a letter saying the current policy on self-isolation was causing “unnecessary and significant disruptions”.

    They said it was “vital that all schools go back to normal from July 19 when restrictions lift, even if just for the last few days of term”.

    They added: “This will send an important signal ahead of the autumn that the route to freedom is a ‘one way road’ and genuinely ‘irreversible’.”

    Other signatories include former cabinet minister Esther McVey and the Commons Education Select Committee chairman Robert Halfon

  • Harvey Lindsay

    TAX BREAK

    You could claim up to £500 extra cash due to working at home.

    Even if you’re now returning to the office, you can claim tax back on household expenses for time you’ve worked from home, dating back four years.

    Since the beginning of the new tax year this April, nearly 800,000 employees have already claimed the tax relief.

    You can claim up to £125 per year and with the option to backdate claims by up to four years, this means you could claim up to £500 in total.

    HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has recently revealed that thousands of Brits have claimed the money to cover household related costs.

    Source: Read Full Article