Coronavirus news – Sajid Javid says 'no one really knows' what's next as UK Covid cases rise to 27,734 after 7-day drop

THE UK'S daily Covid cases have increased for the first time in a week with 27,734 reported in the last 24 hours.

Meanwhile Covid deaths have fallen slightly with a further 91 losing their lives to the killer bug.

It brings the total number of UK Covid deaths recorded within 28 days of a positive test result to 129,430.

In comparison to today's figures yesterday saw the UK hit with 23,511 new cases and 131 deaths.

Hopes had been raised after seven days of falling case numbers, but experts have warned caution at this stage – and today's figures saw them rise by 4,000.

Read our coronavirus live blog for the very latest updates..

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    EXTRA HELP

    Vital financial support for Brits struggling because of coronavirus will come to an end this week.

    Millions of people have paused repayments on mortgages, credit cards and loans thanks to emergency rules introduced during the pandemic.

    The payment holiday support was extended several times and now anyone who applied before the final deadline will find their break ending this Saturday.

    The official end to the break will be on July 31 – in just two days time.

    Banks and lenders will still be offering help to anyone who continues to be in financial difficulty because of Covid after this date.

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    DOWNING STREET REFUSES TO DENY IF STUDENTS WILL NEED JABS FOR LECTURES

    Downing Street did not deny reports that students would need to be fully vaccinated to attend university lectures.

    “You have heard what the PM has said before, specifically that the pandemic is not over,” a No 10 spokesman said.

    “We are still looking at the scope for vaccination certifications.”

    Asked if there was concern about take-up of the vaccines in younger age groups, the spokesman said: “I think you continue to see more and more young people coming forward to receive the vaccine, both in terms of first doses and now second doses.

    “Of course, we want to see more people come forward to receive it. We would like to see everybody who is invited to come forward and receive the vaccination to do so. That’s the message we continue to try and give to young people.”

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    CORONAVIRUS RATES PLUMMET IN HALF OF LOCAL AUTHORITIES, DATA REVEALS

    Covid case rates are falling in half of local authorities in England, data reveals.

    The interactive map below shows the rate per 100,000 people in your area, based on the UK data from the Government coronavirus dashboard.

    The figures, for the seven days to July 22, are based on the number of people who have tested positive for Covid with either a PCR or lateral flow test.

    Of the 315 local areas in England, 177 (56 per cent) have seen a fall in new cases per 100,000.

    Read the full story here

  • Joseph Gamp

    'DON'T GET TOO OPTIMISTIC'

    Speaking at a vaccination centre in London's Little Venice, Sajid Javid told the PA news agency: "The truth is, when it comes to case numbers no-one really knows where they are going to go next.

    "I hope that the falls that we're seeing now are sustained. That's of course what I want to see.

    "But we've already seen with the Delta variant, a new variant that emerged over the last year, that's more infectious than the previous one, that things can change. And so, I think it's important to remain cautious, not get too optimistic."

    He said despite being vaccinated, the jabs were "the reason that I'm here today" just 10 days after a positive test.

    He added: "My own experience, I think, is a good example, a reminder really, that by getting vaccinated you do absolutely reduce your own chances of getting a positive test result, of course, but you can still get the virus. I was one of many people who have been in that situation.2

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    ENGLAND TO SCRAP QUARANTINE FOR FULLY JABBED EU AND US VISITORS

    England is to allow US and EU travellers who are fully vaccinated against coronavirus to enter without the need to quarantine.

    Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced that the new rules will be in place from 4am on Monday August 2.

    The Cabinet minister said: "We're helping reunite people living in the US and European countries with their family and friends in the UK." The Scottish Government has announced the rule change will apply to fully vaccinated EU and US visitors to Scotland from Monday.

    Meanwhile, the Welsh Government said it "regrets" the move to remove quarantine requirements for EU and US visitors to England, but added it would be "ineffective" to have different rules for Wales.

    Ministers in Northern Ireland will consider their position on the change at Thursday's meeting of the powersharing executive. Health Minister Robin Swann will propose that the region also adopts the rule change from Monday.

  • Joseph Gamp

    ENGLAND TO SCRAP QUARANTINE FOR FULLY JABBED EU AND US VISITORS

    England is to allow US and EU travellers who are fully vaccinated against coronavirus to enter without the need to quarantine.

    Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced that the new rules will be in place from 4am on Monday August 2.

    The Cabinet minister said: "We're helping reunite people living in the US and European countries with their family and friends in the UK."

    The Scottish Government has announced the rule change will apply to fully vaccinated EU and US visitors to Scotland from Monday.

    Meanwhile, the Welsh Government said it "regrets" the move to remove quarantine requirements for EU and US visitors to England, but added it would be "ineffective" to have different rules for Wales.

    Ministers in Northern Ireland will consider their position on the change at Thursday's meeting of the powersharing executive. Health Minister Robin Swann will propose that the region also adopts the rule change from Monday.

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    WELSH GOVERNMENT 'REGRETS' UK GOVERNMENT DECISION TO RELAX QUARANTINE RULES EU AND US VISITORS

    The Welsh Government said it "regrets" the UK Government's move to relax quarantine requirements for EU and US visitors to England, but added it would be "ineffective" to have different rules for Wales.

    Eluned Morgan minister for health and social services, said: "There remain clear public health risks posed by re-opening international travel and removing quarantine restrictions to US and EU fully vaccinated amber arrivals at this time.

    "Without self-isolation requirements upon arrival there is a higher risk of importing cases and variants of concern (VoCs) from abroad. Vaccines will reduce this risk, but only if they are effective against VoCs. This is why we continue to caution against international travel for non-essential reasons this summer.

    "We regret the UK Government's proposals to further remove quarantine requirements. However, as we share an open border with England it would be ineffective to introduce separate arrangements for Wales.

    "Therefore, we will be aligning with the other UK administrations and implementing this decision for Wales."

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    TURKEY SEES 22,291 NEW COVID CASES IN 24 HOURS

    Turkey's new coronavirus cases jumped to 22,291 today, the highest since early May, according to health ministry data that also showed the daily death toll reached a six-week high of 76 people.

    Daily infections have surged in recent weeks from a low of 4,418 on July 4

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    JAVID SAYS 'NO-ONE REALLY KNOWS' FUTURE COVID TRAJECTORY AFTER RISE IN CASES

    Covid-19 cases in the UK have increased for the first time in a week, as the Health Secretary warned "no-one really knows" what will happen next with the numbers.

    Sajid Javid followed Prime Minister Boris Johnson in adopting a cautious tone after official figures had shown the number of newly reported cases dropped for seven days in a row.

    A senior minister also told the Daily Mail that Covid is "all over bar the shouting" after cases dropped sharply from above 50,000 on July 17 to below 24,000 on July 27.

    But on Wednesday the Government confirmed that, as of 9am, there had been a further 27,734 lab-confirmed Covid-19 cases in the UK.

    Mr Javid, who has previously warned there could be 100,000 daily cases over the summer, said he hoped recent falls in the numbers would be sustained but it was important not to be "too optimistic".

  • Joseph Gamp

    SAJID JAVID SAYS COVID VACCINES 'ARE THE REASON I'M HERE TODAY'

    Health Secretary Sajid Javid, who contracted Covid-19 despite being vaccinated, said the jabs were "the reason that I'm here today" just 10 days after a positive test.

    He told the PA news agency: "My own experience, I think, is a good example, a reminder really, that by getting vaccinated you do absolutely reduce your own chances of getting a positive test result, of course, but you can still get the virus.

    "I was one of many people who have been in that situation.

    "But there's no doubt that the reason that I'm here today, some 10 days after I had that positive test result, feeling absolutely fine, is because of the vaccines.

    "My symptoms have been very mild and the latest information we have is that the vaccines in the UK, they've stopped 11 million infections, they've stopped 57,000 people from going to hospital and 37,000 people from dying.

    "The vaccines are working."

  • Joseph Gamp

    ENGLAND TO SCRAP QUARANTINE FOR FULLY JABBED EU AND US VISITORS

    England is to allow US and EU travellers who are fully vaccinated against coronavirus to enter without the need to quarantine.

    Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced that the new rules will be in place from 4am on Monday August 2.

    The Cabinet minister said: "We're helping reunite people living in the US and European countries with their family and friends in the UK."

    The Scottish Government has announced the rule change will apply to fully vaccinated EU and US visitors to Scotland from Monday.

    It is not known if the change will affect people arriving in Wales and Northern Ireland.

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    THE PANDEMIC WILL BE OVER BY CHRISTMAS, SAYS PROFESSOR LOCKDOWN

    Imperial College epidemiologist Neil Ferguson said the end of Britain’s pandemic could be just months away as vaccines have so dramatically reduced the risk of hospitalisation and death.

    “We’re not completely out of the woods but the equation has fundamentally changed,” Ferguson, whose modelling of the virus’s likely spread at the outset of the pandemic in early 2020 alarmed governments across the world, told the BBC.

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    GP ADMINISTERED COVID-19 VACCINES AWAY FROM OFFICIAL VACCINATION CENTRE

    A GP is being investigated for taking 300 Covid-19 vaccines to be administered outside of an official vaccination centre.

    Patients in Portsmouth, Hampshire, who received one of the doses are being offered an additional jab as a precaution.

    The Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group has warned that the 300 vaccinations given by the GP, who has not been named, might not be as effective if they had not been stored at the correct temperature.

    A spokeswoman said: “These vaccinations were given by a GP outside of an NHS-approved vaccination site.

    “While there is no reason to suggest that people vaccinated at this site are at any increased risk, we are acting on advice from Public Health England and contacting them to offer an additional vaccination as a precaution

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    NORWAY POSTPONES END OF LOCKDOWN – DESPITE 80% OF POPULATION HAVING THEIR FIRST DOSES

    Norway postponed for a second time on Wednesday a planned final step in the reopening of its economy from pandemic lockdown, due to the continued spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19, the government said.

    “A new assessment will be made in mid-August,” Health Minister Bent Hoeie told a news conference.

    Measures that will be kept in place to halt the spread of Covid-19 include bars and restaurants being limited to table service and limits of 20 people on gatherings in private homes.

    The government in April launched a four-step plan to gradually remove most pandemic restrictions, and had completed the first three of those steps by mid-June.

    On July 5, Prime Minister Erna Solberg said the fourth step could come in late July or early August at the earliest because of concerns about the Delta coronavirus variant.

    About 80% of adults in Norway have received a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine and 41% of adults are fully vaccinated, according to the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

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    HOLIDAY HELL

    Holiday goers must check their insurance if they’ve been pinged as they might not be covered for cancelling their trip, experts warn.

    One million people were told to self isolate by the NHS Covid app in just one week recently, grinding Britain to a standstill.

    Supermarket shelves have been left bare, pubs and restaurants have had to close and transport services have been delayed as workers across the country have been told to stay at home.

    But if you’re due to go on holiday but have been pinged, experts have warned to check the small print of your policy.

    Analysts Defaqto estimate that while nine in 10 travel insurance policies cover holiday cancellation costs if you get Covid, only six in 10 policies will cover you if in cases where you’ve been told to self-isolate.

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    THREE-WEEK-OLD BABY WITH COVID IS FIGHTING FOR LIFE IN ICU AS EXPERTS WARN YOUNG AT RISK

    Three-week-old baby with Covid is fighting for life in ICU as experts warn young at risk

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    GRAPHIC: UK COVID-19 CASES AND DEATHS PER DAY

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    GP ADMINISTERED COVID-19 VACCINES AWAY FROM OFFICIAL VACCINATION CENTRE

    A GP is being investigated for taking 300 Covid-19 vaccines to be administered outside of an official vaccination centre.

    Patients in Portsmouth, Hampshire, who received one of the doses are being offered an additional jab as a precaution.

    The Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group has warned that the 300 vaccinations given by the GP, who has not been named, might not be as effective if they had not been stored at the correct temperature.

    A spokeswoman said: “These vaccinations were given by a GP outside of an NHS-approved vaccination site.

    “While there is no reason to suggest that people vaccinated at this site are at any increased risk, we are acting on advice from Public Health England and contacting them to offer an additional vaccination as a precaution.”

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    EMERGENCY STEPS NEEDED TO ADDRESS SURGE IN MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS, REPORT WARNS

    Emergency measures must address the pressures on mental health services in Ireland caused by the pandemic, an Oireachtas report has warned.

    A 24-hours-a-day suicide prevention team is among the supports needed to cope with the situation, the sub-committee on mental health said.

    TDs and senators on the sub-committee have published an interim report on Covid-19's effect on mental health services in the community.

    Among the issues examined were the mental health consequences of the disruption to the normal grieving process, such as coronavirus restrictions on funerals and accessing palliative care facilities.

    The sub-committee made a total of ten recommendations to the Government. Among them is a call for universal free access to counselling.

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    DRIVE ON

    Tesco is offering a £1,000 bonus to lorry drivers who join the company before the end of September.

    The bonus is to incentivize new starters amid supermarket staffing pressures caused by the “pingdemic”.

    The “pingdemic” has meant large parts of the economy have come to a grinding halt, including within the food sector.

    In response, Tesco has advertised the joining bonus on its website and it will be offered to anyone who takes up one of the HGV driver roles from July 14 until September 30.

    Candidates are told “you’ll play a vital role for our customers and communities, representing Tesco on the highways and byways of the UK”.

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    RAIL TRAVEL IS HIT BY ‘PINGEDEMIC’ AS REDUCED TIMETABLES COME IN TO SERVICE

    Workers in the sector are among the vast number of people being pinged by the NHS coronavirus app.

    Reduced timetables have been introduced on railways across England in an attempt to improve reliability after a recent spate of last-minute cancellations due to staff shortages.

    Passengers are being advised to check their train is running before they leave home.

    Thameslink and Southern has cut its weekday timetables on five routes “until further notice”, and warned that further changes could be required.

    Avanti West Coast has reduced the frequency of its services between London Euston and Manchester, Birmingham and North Wales to “manage staff shortages and ensure a reliable service”. A revised timetable with fewer services was also launched by London Northwestern Railway on Saturday.

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    SAJID JAVID URGES BRITS NOT TO BE 'TOO OPTIMISTIC' AS UK CASES CONTINUE TO FALL

    Health Secretary Sajid Javid, who has previously warned that there could be 100,000 daily cases over the summer, said he hoped recent falls in the numbers would be sustained but it was important not to be "too optimistic".

    Speaking at a vaccination centre in London's Little Venice, he told the PA news agency: "The truth is, when it comes to case numbers no-one really knows where they are going to go next.

    "I hope that the falls that we're seeing now are sustained. That's of course what I want to see.

    "But we've already seen with the Delta variant, a new variant that emerged over the last year, that's more infectious than the previous one, that things can change.

    "And so, I think it's important to remain cautious, not get too optimistic."

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    AXING QUARANTINE FOR DOUBLE-JABBED WILL HELP REUNITE FAMILIES, SAYS BA CHAIRMAN

     Sean Doyle, British Airways chairman and chief executive, said the move by the Government to relax restrictions for travellers arriving from the US and Europe would help reunite families.

    He said: "Our own trials have proved it's quick and easy to check travellers are fully vaccinated and can safely enter the UK, and this step will allow us to reunite loved ones and get Global Britain back in business, giving the economy the vital boost it so badly needs.

    "With the UK's Covid cases falling while vaccinations continue to rise, now is the time for the Government to help secure the reopening of the crucial UK-US travel corridor, move more low-risk amber countries to the green list to allow customers to book with confidence and to review the current expensive testing requirements that are out of step with our neighbours."

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    WAITING GAME (CONTINUED)

    The source said: “The situation in Spain is beginning to feel a lot like the build-up to the decision on France.

    “The Department of Health are getting very jumpy about the number of Beta cases in parts of the country.

    “We’re not talking about the main tourist hotspots, but that might not make any difference – it didn’t with France.”

    Other officials have downplayed the threat in Spain, saying the country won’t be added in the travel review, expected on August 5.

    A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “The travel list allocations have not changed for Spain or Greece.”

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    WAITING GAME

    Spain could be replacing France on the amber plus list next week, meaning Brits will not be able to skip the 10-day quarantine even if fully vaxxed.

    Government sources are confident that France will be removed next week after it was added at short notice earlier this month.

    The country was added due to the fears of the Beta variant, meaning France was not included in the easing of the amber list rules which lets Brits with both jabs skip the quarantine back in the UK.

    However, a Whitehall source told the Mail Online that the Department of Health is ‘jumpy’ about the variant being detected in some parts of Spain.

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