Coronavirus UK news latest – NO local lockdowns for Indian Covid variant hotspots amid 'confusing' travel advice

Coronavirus UK news latest – NO local lockdowns for Indian Covid variant hotspots amid 'confusing' travel advice

05/29/2021

BRITS have been told not to travel in and out of eight Indian variant hotspots after stealth new restrictions were introduced this morning.

Ministers are warning people not to enter or leave areas where the Covid strain is spreading fastest "unless it is essential".

And those living there are also subject to tighter social distancing requirements, including only meeting up inside and working from home. Local leaders and MPs weren't even told about the changes, which were dumped on the Government website last Friday evening.

Meanwhile, the first man to receive a Covid vaccine in the world died aged 81 yesterday.

William Shakespeare – known as Bill – received his first Pfizer jab in December, but passed away from an unrelated illness on Thursday.

It comes as the government was slammed for introducing 'stealth lockdowns' over the weekend- quietly updating official websites to change rules on meeting indoors and travelling into and out of areas hit by the Indian strain.

Read our coronavirus live blog below for the latest news and updates…

  • Joseph Gamp

    MAPPED: NEW LOCAL ‘LOCKDOWNS’ IN ENGLAND’S INDIAN VARIANT HOTSPOTS

  • Joseph Gamp

    MANCHESTER MAYOR ANDY BURNHAM HITS OUT AT 'MASSIVE COMMUNICATION ERROR' FROM GOVERNMENT

    Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham told people to exercise their own judgement and hit out at a massive "communications error".

    He fumed: "Schools are confused about whether trips can happen, amateur sport has been thrown into chaos, people also have plans for the bank holiday."

    The Labour big beast demanded a minister issue an urgent statement today clarifying the situation. He also vowed to fight any future local lockdowns, with Mr Greenhalgh warning of public unrest if they were ever revived in the future.

    Answering a question from The Sun, he said: "There's an underlying resentment that could lead to anger.

    "I don't think I'm over-exaggerating, you only have to look at social media to see tensions that are rising."

  • Joseph Gamp

    COVID NEWS ROUND UP

    • Brits were told not to travel in & out of 8 Indian variant hotspots, only meet outside and stay 2m apart
    • Fully vaccinated Brits ‘will STILL need to self-isolate if they come into contact with people with Covid after June 21’
    • Up to 8,700 patients ‘died after catching Covid while in hospital being treated for something else’
    • Indian doctors now warn of yellow fungus seen in Covid patient after deadly black fungus fears
    • Joseph Gamp

      CANARY, BALEARIC AND GREEK ISLANDS ‘COULD BE ON GREEN LIST EVEN IF REST OF THE COUNTRY IS RATED AMBER’

      THE Canary, Balearic and Greek islands could be on quarantine-free green list for summer holidays, even if the rest of the country is rated amber. 

      Ministers have pledged to open up island destinations for UK tourists “where possible”, even if infection rates prevented an entire country from joining the green list.

      According to reports from the Telegraph, Robert Courts, the aviation minister, told MPs the Government would take this “where possible” as it prepares to reveal the next lot of destinations that could be added to the quarantine-free list.

      The second installment of countries to be added to the list was expected to be announced at the start of next month.

      This process would mean the Canary, Balearic and Greek islands could be rated green, separate from Spain and Greece. This could also pave the way for other tourists in the Carribean and Mediterranean to be declared open for UK tourists. 

      Read more here.

    • Joseph Gamp

      GOVERNMENT CHANGES INDIAN HOTSPOT ADVICE AND TELLS RESIDENTS TO ‘MINIMISE TRAVEL’ AFTER SAYING AVOID ENTERING & LEAVING

      THE Government has changed its controversial Indian hotspot advice – now telling residents to "minimise travel" in and out of affected areas.

      Local leaders were already in turmoil over the new rules today – which previously urged people to avoid entering or leaving the eight areas where the Indian variant is rife. Twenty-four hours of chaos raged after it was revealed last night the Government had quietly changed its online guidance to warn against travel to the hotspots.

      And in a screeching U-turn, a government spokesperson said officials will “updating the guidance" for the affected areas to "make it clearer we are not imposing local restrictions".

      The spokesperson said: "Instead, we are providing advice on the additional precautions people can take to protect themselves and others in those areas where the new variant is prevalent.

      “This includes, wherever possible, trying to meet outdoors rather than indoors, keeping 2m apart from anyone you don’t live with and minimising travel in and out the area. These are not new regulations but they are some of the ways everyone can help bring the variant under control in their local area.”

    • Joseph Gamp

      HOW MUCH PROTECTION DOES TWO DOSES OF A VACCINE GIVE YOU?

       

    • Joseph Gamp

      'THERE ARE NO LOCAL LOCKDOWNS' (CONTINUED…)

      It comes as figures showed Covid-19 case rates in Bolton are at their highest level for more than six months.

      A total of 1,300 new cases were recorded in the seven days to May 21 – the equivalent of 452.1 per 100,000 people. This is up from 300.8 the previous week and is the highest since the seven days to November 12.

      Bolton continues to have the highest rate of new cases in the UK.

      Blackburn with Darwen has the second highest, up week-on-week from 130.9 to 301.9, with 452 new cases.

      Bedford is third highest, up week-on-week from 128.1 to 193.9, with 336 new cases.

    • Joseph Gamp

      'THERE ARE NO LOCAL LOCKDOWNS', SAY PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTORS IN VARIANT HOTSPOTS

      Residents in eight Indian variant hotspot areas have been told "there are no local lockdowns" after the Government was accused of bringing in new Covid-19 restrictions "by stealth".

      Guidance urging people in areas with high levels of the strain to restrict their socialising and travel was added to the Government website on Friday, but local leaders said they had not been made aware.

      In a joint statement on Tuesday the directors of public health in Burnley, Bedford, Blackburn with Darwen, Bolton, Kirklees, Leicester, Hounslow and North Tyneside effectively said the advice could be disregarded, saying it had been confirmed there is no restriction on travel in and out of the areas.

      The statement said: "Following the national coverage of recently revised guidance we have met with national officials and confirmed there are no restrictions on travel in or out of each of our areas: there are no local lockdowns. In areas where the new Covid variant is spreading we are all working together to boost testing and vaccination and to support self-isolation.

      "There are sensible public health precautions people can take as individuals in line with the sorts of advice we have all been following throughout the pandemic. We will keep sharing that and working with national officials to make sure people understand what they need to think about as they go about their daily lives."

    • Joseph Gamp

      STURGEON AND DRAKEFORD CALL FOR COVID SUMMIT TO BE 'MEANINGFUL DISCUSSION'

      The First Ministers of Scotland and Wales have written to Boris Johnson calling on the proposed coronavirus recovery summit to be a "meaningful discussion with substantive outcomes".

      Nicola Sturgeon and Mark Drakeford are asking the Prime Minister for more clarity and substance around the proposal which would bring the four UK nations together this Thursday.

      In the letter, copied to Arlene Foster and Michelle O'Neill, the pair criticise Mr Johnson's office for sending "a very rough proposed agenda" with key issues in the discussions seemingly yet to be agreed.

      They also make a case for "further discussion" to take place ahead of the summit which would see such an event delayed, but still have it take place "perhaps as early as next week".

      The letter states: "We are writing about the proposed 4-nations summit on Covid recovery, which you have suggested should take place this Thursday afternoon. We are both deeply committed to taking part in such a summit and to working appropriately together on Covid Recovery – but, as we are sure you do, we want the meeting to be a meaningful discussion with substantive outcomes, and not just a PR exercise.

    • Joseph Gamp

      BRUSSELS DELAYS DECISION ON EUROPEAN BORDER REOPENINGS

      Europe has delayed a decision on whether to let Brits back in until next month over Indian variant fears in a blow to holiday hopes.

      Brussels was due to sign off on a new borders plan today that would’ve thrown the continent open to tourists from the UK.

      But diplomatic sources said it has now been shelved for at least 10 days Member States watch the spread of the new strain.

      A Brussels source said: “Member states need a bit more time to look into developments regarding the Indian variant.

      “They want to prevent putting countries on and off the list too much.”

    • Joseph Gamp

      DOCTORS URGED TO WATCH OUT FOR SIGNS OF STROKE FOLLOWING COVID VACCINATION

      Doctors are being urged to watch out for signs of stroke in people receiving the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine after three young patients were admitted to hospital and one died.

      Experts, including from the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery at University College London (UCL) Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, told how two women in their 30s and a man in his 40s suffered clots in their large arteries, leading to ischaemic stroke, though they stressed the chances were small.

      The team said the NHS must look out for patients with ischaemic stroke (where blood clots block arteries) within about one month of vaccination, saying they should be "urgently evaluated" for a very rare syndrome called vaccine-induced thrombosis and thrombocytopenia (VITT).

      This condition needs to be rapidly diagnosed and managed by a team with a range of expertise, who have quick access to a range of drugs, they said. The experts stressed that the cases of stroke are very rare and that stroke is more common in people who catch Covid-19.

      There have been 309 cases of major thrombosis with low platelet count suggesting VITT from more than 30 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine administered, they said.

    • Joseph Gamp

      GRAPH: UK COVID-19 CASES AND DEATHS PER DAY

    • Joseph Gamp

      NEW GUIDANCE FOR COVID-19 HOTSPOTS AFTER MIXED MESSAGES ON LOCAL LOCKDOWNS

      Guidance for eight areas considered hotspots for the Indian variant of coronavirus is to be updated to make clear there are no local lockdowns imposed, the Government has said.

      The Department of Health and Social Care said it would instead be issuing advice to those living in Burnley, Bedford, Blackburn with Darwen, Bolton, Kirklees, Leicester, Hounslow and North Tyneside after ministers were accused of bringing in rules on socialising and travelling "by stealth".

      It insisted lockdown measures were not being put in place.

      A Government spokesperson said: "We will be updating the guidance for areas where the new Covid-19 variant is spreading to make it clearer we are not imposing local restrictions.

      "Instead, we are providing advice on the additional precautions people can take to protect themselves and others in those areas where the new variant is prevalent."

    • Joseph Gamp

      SCOTLAND: NUMBER OF PEOPLE WAITING MORE THAN A YEAR FOR HOSPITAL TREATMENT DOUBLES

      The number of Scots waiting a year or more for planned hospital treatment has almost doubled in just three months as the second wave of Covid-19 hit – with the latest figures showing 28,203 patients having spent 52 weeks or more on an NHS list.

      New waiting time figures showed “increasing” numbers experiencing longer waits for inpatient and day case treatment in NHS Scotland.

      At the end of December 2020 there were 15,128 patients who had been waiting a year or more for such treatment.

      But as the second wave of Covid-19 hit hospitals across Scotland, that total had increased to 28,203 by the end of March 2021 – a rise of 86.4%

    • Joseph Gamp

      WATCH: NEW COVID RULES WREAK HAVOC FOR THOUSANDS OF FAMILY GETAWAYS FOR BRITS IN 8 INDIAN VARIANT HOSTPOTS

      New Covid rules wreak havoc for thousands of family getaways for Brits in 8 Indian variant hostpots

    • Joseph Gamp

      COVID-19 DEATHS RISE SLIGHTLY AS BANK HOLIDAY SLOWS REGISTRATIONS

      Weekly registrations of deaths involving Covid-19 in England and Wales have risen slightly, new figures show – but the numbers are likely to have been affected by the early May bank holiday.

      A total of 151 deaths registered in the week ending May 14 mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

      This is up from 129 in the previous week – a rise of 17%.

      Many register offices will have been closed for the bank holiday on May 3, however.

      This is likely to have led to fewer deaths being registered in that week and slightly more deaths being registered in the following week.

    • Joseph Gamp

      MAPPED: NEW LOCAL 'LOCKDOWNS' IN ENGLAND'S INDIAN VARIANT HOTSPOTS

    • Joseph Gamp

      EXPLAINED: NEW TRAVEL GUIDANCE FOR LOCAL COVID HOTSPOTS

      The government’s updated guidance recommends that people within the eight localities shouldn’t meet up indoors or travel outside their areas unless it is for an essential matter, such as going to work.

      But council leaders and local officials representing two million people in those eight Covid hotspots in England hardest have slammed the measures.

      Incredibly, they weren’t forewarned about the changes, which were dumped on the Government website on the evening of last Friday, May 21 2021.

      There was no public announcement, and they didn’t find out until May 24, when journalists started to flag the new guidance.

    • Joseph Gamp

      GRAPH: COVID VACCINATIONS IN THE UK

    • Joseph Gamp

      BRUSSELS DELAYS DECISION ON EUROPEAN BORDER REOPENINGS

      Europe has delayed a decision on whether to let Brits back in until next month over Indian variant fears in a blow to holiday hopes.

      Brussels was due to sign off on a new borders plan today that would’ve thrown the continent open to tourists from the UK.

      But diplomatic sources said it has now been shelved for at least 10 days Member States watch the spread of the new strain.

      A Brussels source said: “Member states need a bit more time to look into developments regarding the Indian variant.

      “They want to prevent putting countries on and off the list too much.”

    • Joseph Gamp

      OPPOSITION MPs CRITICISE GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCEMENT OF LOCAL LOCKDOWNS

      Shadow Health Secretary Jon Ashworth and the SNP’s Health spokeswoman Phillipa Whitford have challenged the government over its decision to “sneak out” local lockdowns in areas heavily affected by the Indian variant.

      Ashworth challenged Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zawahi in the House of Commons, saying the government has let down people who had been planning for reopening. He asked why the Government did not do more to tell people about when the lockdown was imposed.

      Whitford accused the Government of updating the website during Eurovision on Saturday night to avoid heavy scruntiny and criticism.

    • Joseph Gamp

      UK RECORDS 15 NEW DEATHS TODAY

      The Department of Health has recorded 2,493 daily covid-19 cases and a further 15 deaths with 28 deaths of a positive test.

      This is twice the figure for this time last week when seven deaths were recorded on Tuesday 18th May.

    • Joseph Gamp

      GRAPH: UK COVID-19 CASES AND DEATHS PER DAY

    • Joseph Gamp

      DOWN TO YOU

      Local leaders today effectively told residents to IGNORE the new Government advice for variant hotspots – and blasted ministers for sowing mass confusion.

      Leicester Council urged people to continue following the national guidance while the boss of Bolton Council said their situation hadn’t changed either.

      Last night it was revealed the Government had quietly changed its guidance to warn against entering or leaving eight areas where the mutation is rife.

      It applies to Bedford, Blackburn, Bolton, Burley, Kirklees, Leicester, Hounslow and North Tyneside.

      The change in the advice has sparked a day of chaos about whether residents must follow new rules, with MPs railing against local lockdowns in all but name.

    • Joseph Gamp

      CROWD PILOT EVENT ATTENDEES BRING JUST 15 CASES OF COVID-19

      Pilot events involving 58,000 people have resulted in just 15 positive cases of Covid-19, according to the Culture Secretary.

      Oliver Dowden hailed the UK’s Covid test events which included a reduced-capacity FA Cup semi-final at Wembley Stadium and a nightclub opening in Liverpool, as a “real success”.

      In an interview with the Evening Standard, Mr Dowden said he hopes that by June 21 stadiums will be full and the lights will be back on in the West End.

      He told the newspaper he is “very hopeful” that theatres will be allowed to sell all seats instead of keeping some empty.

      The Brit Awards on May 11 took place as part of the Government’s live events pilot scheme and was the first large-scale indoor music event of the year.

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