Coronavirus UK news latest – Fury as EU could CANCEL five million Brits' holidays in bizarre Astra-Zeneca vaccine row

FIVE million Brits face being blocked from Euro holidays because their Astra-Zeneca jabs are not recognised by the EU, a report says. 

Millions of AZ vaccines administered in the UK do not qualify for the bloc’s passport scheme because they were manufactured in India. 

The EU does not recognise a version of the AZ jab called Covishield produced by the Serum Institute of India (SII).

The shots – administered to some five million Brits – are yet to be authorised by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) which regulates vaccinations in the bloc, the Daily Telegraph. 

It comes as a bitter blow to Brits’ holiday hopes – leaving millions potentially turned away at EU border crossings when their batch numbers on their vaccine passports are scanned. 

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

  • louis.allwood@thesun.co.uk

    PLANS TO PROTECT VULNERABLE ‘WILL SEE BRITS FACING FIVE WINTERS OF COVID RESTRICTIONS’

    A draft blueprint created for ministers suggests a number of policies to help prevent future waves of infection from overwhelming the NHS. 

    Measures could include working from home temporarily or a limit on indoor gatherings, according to the Daily Mirror. 

    Officials reportedly believe that the plan could prevent another full lockdown after all adults have been double jabbed, and ministers will be able to pick and choose measures depending on the scale of pressure on hospitals.   

  • louis.allwood@thesun.co.uk

    PEOPLE 'SHOULD NOT BE CONCERNED' OF ASTRAZENECA VACCINE FROM INDIA

    Professor Adam Finn, from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), said people should not be concerned about receiving doses of AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured in India, and that the issue with the EU was "an administrative hurdle".

    "The most important part of this is that people who have received these batches should be reassured that they have received exactly the same stuff as people who have received other batches made elsewhere," he told the Today programme.

    "This is an administrative hurdle that needs to be straightened out but people should not be concerned that they are in some way less well protected.

    "We're in the early days of this new world of needed vaccine passports and there are lots of aspects of this that are still being sorted out for the first time.

    "But it's clearly, ultimately not in anyone's interest, including the European Union, to create hurdles that don't need to be there."

    He added: "I would anticipate that this will get straightened out in due course."

  • louis.allwood@thesun.co.uk

    DELTA VARIANT (Continued…)

    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."

  • louis.allwood@thesun.co.uk

    NICOLA STURGEON TO HOLD CORONAVIRUS BRIEFING TODAY

    First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will hold a virtual coronavirus briefing with national clinical director Professor Jason Leitch at 12.15pm.

  • louis.allwood@thesun.co.uk

    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.

  • louis.allwood@thesun.co.uk

    MUM OF CHRIS WHITTY YOB ‘NOT OVERJOYED’ BY SON’S BEHAVIOUR AS SHE APOLOGISES

    The mum of a yob filmed grabbing Chris Whitty has revealed she was not "overjoyed" by his behaviour but apologised on his behalf.

    Jonathan Chew and pal Lewis Hughes, both 24, were branded "thugs" by the PM after they were filmed manhandling England’s chief medical officer.

    Shocking footage then showed them putting Prof Whitty in a headlock as he desperately tried to get away.

    Natasha, 49, told Mail Online: "First and foremost I would like to apologise for any distress that the incident may have caused Mr Whitty.

    "My son and his friend had been enjoying their day, having a few social drinks together when they spotted Mr Whitty.

    "Realising who he was, and understanding how important he is to our country at this very moment, they wanted to get a picture with him."

  • louis.allwood@thesun.co.uk
  • louis.allwood@thesun.co.uk

    BORIS JOHNSON ‘WILL LIFT NEARLY ALL COVID RESTRICTIONS FROM JULY 19’

    Boris Johnson will lift almost all Covid restrictions from July 19 as part of his “freedom plan” set to be published next week, it has been reported. 

    The Prime Minister yesterday gave his clearest indication yet that he will push forward with the full unlocking later this month. 

    Yesterday, Mr Johnson fuelled hopes that restrictions will end on July 19 so life can “get back to what it was”.

    He said: “It looks ever clearer … the speed of that vaccine rollout has broken that link between infection and mortality and that’s an amazing thing.

    “That gives us the scope, we think on the 19th to go ahead, cautiously, irreversibly."

    He added: “Double jabs will be a liberator. I know people are impatient for us to open up faster. Of course, I want to do that. We’re now in the final furlong, I really believe. We have to look very carefully at the data.

    “At the moment we’re seeing a big increase in cases, but that is not translating into a big increase in serious illness and death.”

  • louis.allwood@thesun.co.uk
  • louis.allwood@thesun.co.uk

    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.

  • louis.allwood@thesun.co.uk

    5 MILLION BRITS TO BE ‘BLOCKED FROM EURO HOLIDAYS

    Five million Brits face being blocked from Euro holidays because their Astra-Zeneca jabs are not recognised by the EU, a report says. 

    Millions of AZ vaccines administered in the UK do not qualify for the bloc’s passport scheme because they were manufactured in India. 

    The EU does not recognise a version of the AZ jab called Covishield produced by the Serum Institute of India (SII).

    The shots – administered to some five million Brits – are yet to be authorised by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) which regulates vaccinations in the bloc, the Daily Telegraph. 

    It comes as a bitter blow to Brits’ holiday hopes – leaving millions potentially turned away at EU border crossings when their batch numbers on their vaccine passports are scanned. 

  • louis.allwood@thesun.co.uk

    HOSPITAL APOLOGISES TO WOMAN WHO WAS UNABLE TO VISIT DYING SON

    A hospital has apologised to a woman who was prevented from seeing her dying son in his final weeks.

    Ollie Bibby, 27, of South Benfleet in Essex, died of leukaemia on May 5 at University College London Hospital (UCLH). The hospital has pledged to review how it implements national visiting guidance during the pandemic.

    Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer raised the case at Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, noting that Mr Bibby died the day before CCTV footage captured then-health secretary Matt Hancock breaching social distancing rules in an embrace with aide Gina Coladangelo.

    Mr Bibby’s family and friends were unable to spend time with him and when he was in hospital he begged to see his family, Mr Starmer told the Commons. He said they followed the rules and only one member of his family was allowed to see him.

    Mr Bibby’s mother, Penny Bibby, said: “I’m livid. We did everything we were told to do and the man who made the rules didn’t. How can that be right?”

    In his response, Prime Minister Boris Johnson referred to Mr Hancock’s resignation as a “Westminster bubble” issue.

  • caroline.mortimer@thesun.co.uk

    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.

  • caroline.mortimer@thesun.co.uk

    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.

  • caroline.mortimer@thesun.co.uk

    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”.

  • caroline.mortimer@thesun.co.uk

    ITALIAN EMBASSY IN LONDON WARNS ENGLAND FANS AGAINST TRAVELLING TO ROME FOR EUROs

    The Italian embassy in London has warned fans planning to travel to Rome for the quarter final match against Ukraine on Saturday.

    The embassy says fans arriving in Rome will not be admitted to the stadium, even if they have ticket, unless they have a negative PCR or antigen test, have filled in a passenger locator form and had quarantined for a least five days upon arrival.

    The stadium ban even applies to people who are exempted from quarantine such as travelling for work and being in the country less than 36 hours.

  • caroline.mortimer@thesun.co.uk

    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.

  • caroline.mortimer@thesun.co.uk

    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.

  • caroline.mortimer@thesun.co.uk

    WAGE SUPPORT

    An extension to the furlough scheme has today been ruled out by the Business Secretary.

    It comes as the coronavirus wage support scheme begins to be wound down from today, sparking fresh fears for jobs.

    Speaking on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, Cabinet Minister Kwasi Kwarteng said: ” Furlough was an exceptional policy in extreme times, in unprecedented times and it was always the case that the furlough was going to come to an end at some point.

    “I think the Chancellor’s right, he’s made an assessment that as the economy opens up, the furlough should be tapered.”

  • caroline.mortimer@thesun.co.uk

    WATCH: JCVI TO DECIDE "IN WEEKS" WHETHER TO VACCINATE CHILDREN

    JCVI to decide ‘in weeks’ if British kids should get Covid vaccine

  • caroline.mortimer@thesun.co.uk

    LOAN LOSSES

    Nearly two thirds of bounce-back Covid loans will never be paid back, MPs fear.

    The scale of fraud and bankruptcy could cost the Treasury £27billion.

    The Bounce Back Loan Scheme was rushed out to allow small businesses quick access to cash.

    But tomorrow the Public Accounts Committee of MPs will say it was rolled out at pace — leading to a “significantly increased” risk of fraud.

    They will say the Treasury was “reliant on banks that it admits lack incentives given it is not their money on the line”.

    Between 35 per cent and 60 per cent — up to £27billion of loans — may now never be repaid.

  • caroline.mortimer@thesun.co.uk

    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.

  • caroline.mortimer@thesun.co.uk

    YOB LOSES JOB

    An estate agent has been sacked after his boss saw a video of him grabbing Prof Chris Whitty around the neck.

    Lewis Hughes and pal Jonathan Chew, both 24, were branded “despicable thugs” by the Prime Minister for manhandling England’s chief medical officer.

    But tonight, boxing enthusiast Hughes apologised through The Sun and said: “I’ve paid the price with my job.”

    He told how the friends had been on an anti-vax march in London on Sunday when they spotted Prof Whitty, 55, at about 3pm in St James’s Park.

    Hughes, who worked for Caplen Estates Agents, admitted having a couple of drinks first.

    He said: “I absolutely apologise for any upset I caused.

    “If I made him feel uncomfortable, which it does look like I did, then I am sorry to him for that.”

  • caroline.mortimer@thesun.co.uk

    CASE RATE RISING IN ALL AGES GROUPS, PUBLIC HEALTH ENGLAND WARNS

    Case rates in England among all age groups are continuing to rise, Public Health England said.

    The highest rate is among 20 to 29-year-olds, with 424.3 cases per 100,000 people in the seven days to June 27, up week-on-week from 274.0.

    This is also the age group to see the biggest week-on-week increase.

    The second highest rate is among 10 to 19-year-olds, up from 220.7 to 369.4.

    For people aged 60 and over, the rate is 27.2, up slightly from 17.6.

  • caroline.mortimer@thesun.co.uk

    INDEPENDENT SAGE MEMBERS SAYS HE DOES NOT THINK THERE WILL BE ANNUAL COVID VACCINATIONS

    Martin McKee, professor of European public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a member of Independent Sage, said he does not believe that annual coronavirus vaccinations will be given to people in the future.

    He told Times Radio: “I suspect what we will find is that, over the next few years, we’ll have a couple of different variants of the vaccine and then that will probably be adequate. Then obviously younger people will have to be vaccinated as they come through the population.”

    Prof McKee added that he feels it is important to vaccinate children from a “population perspective” due to the need for 87% of people to be vaccinated so that there is “population immunity” against the virus.

    “Twenty percent of the population are under 18 and there’s a higher proportion in some communities so, therefore, it seems obvious from a population perspective,” he said.

    “I think people in the JCVI, who are looking at this from the perspective of the individual child and looking at the risk/benefit balance, are less enthusiastic about vaccinating children, but I’m a public health physician. From a population perspective, it’s very clear that we have to vaccinate children.”

    Source: Read Full Article