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Coronavirus UK latest – Four countries added to travel ‘red list’ as England’s R rate rises as high as one

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FOUR new countries have today been added to the government’s “travel red list” amid a spike in coronavirus cases.

International travellers from the Philippines, Pakistan, Kenya and Bangladesh will be refused entry into England from April 19 – as the UK’s coronavirus R rate rose as high as one.

Only people with British and Irish citizenship – or residence rights in the UK – will be allowed to enter England from next Friday.

But Brits who do arrive from these countries will be required to self-isolate in a government-approved hotel quarantine facility for 10 days – costing £1,750 per person.

It comes as the Covid reproduction number, or R value, in England rose to between 0.8 and 1, according to the latest Government figures.

This is compared to a figure of between 0.7 and 0.9 for the whole of the UK last week.

When the figure is above 1, an outbreak can grow exponentially, but when it is below 1, it means the epidemic is shrinking.

Meanwhile, MPS have slammed “discriminatory” coronavirus vaccine passports as pubs face tougher entry rules when they reopen later this month.

Labour peer Baroness Chakrabarti told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It’s dangerous, it’s discriminatory, it’s counter-productive.”

Read our coronavirus live blog below for the very latest news and updates on the pandemic

  • GRAPHIC: UK COVID-19 CASES AND DEATHS PER DAY

  • NETHERLANDS SUSPENDS OXFORD JAB

    The Netherlands has temporarily suspended use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for people under 60 following the death of a woman who had received a shot, the Health Ministry said.

    About 10,000 scheduled appointments for vaccinations were to be scrapped as a result of the decision, news agency ANP reported.

    AstraZeneca said it was working with Dutch authorities to address any questions they had.

    “Authorities in the UK, European Union, the World Health Organization have concluded that the benefits of using our vaccine to protect people from this deadly virus significantly outweigh the risks across all adult age groups,” it said.

  • OVER 100K JABS GIVEN OUT YESTERDAY

    Government data up to April 1 shows that of the 36,249,902 jabs given in the UK so far, 31,301,267 were first doses – a rise of 153,823 on the previous day.

    Some 4,948,635 were second doses, an increase of 435,177.

  • COVID CASES SEE LOWEST DAILY RISE

    Covid cases have fallen to the lowest level since mid-September with another 3,402 infections today.

    In the last 24 hours, 52 coronavirus deaths were recorded – bringing the total number of Covid deaths in the UK to 126,816.

    And today’s coronavirus case toll brings the total to 4,353,668.

  • SHARMA GETS HIS JAB

    Alok Sharma has received his coronavirus jab today.

    The minister for business tweeted a picture of a vaccination centre in Tilehurst, Berkshire where he received his first dose.

    Poking fun at colleagues who have opted for a shirtless jab snap, he wrote: “Just had my first dose of the #OxfordVaccine – have resisted the temptation to tweet a photo with my shirt off.

    “Incredibly efficient process – thank you #NHS and the brilliant team in the Tilehurst Triangle Pharmacy.”

  • SAGE FAIL TO AGREE ON UK WIDE R NUMBER

    But Government officials have failed to agree on the R rate for across the UK because case numbers are so low.

    “Given the increasingly localised approach to managing the epidemic, particularly between nations, UK-level estimates are less meaningful than previously and may not accurately reflect the current picture of the epidemic.”

    The R rate reflects the outbreak with a slight lag, as it takes up to three weeks for changes in the spread of the disease to be clear.

  • BORIS WARNS PUBLIC NOT TO MEET LOVED ONES INDOORS OVER EASTER

    Boris Johnson has urged against people meeting others from different households indoors over the Easter weekend, warning vaccines do not guarantee “100 per cent protection” from coronavirus.

    During a Twitter question and answer session, the PM was asked if people could meet loved ones indoors if they are vaccinated, to which he replied: “I’m afraid the answer is no, because we’re not yet at that stage.

    “We’re still very much in a world where you can meet friends and family outdoors under the rule of six or two households.

    “And even though your friends and family members may be vaccinated, the vaccines are not giving 100 per cent protection, and that’s why we just need to be cautious.”

  • LONDON STILL LAGGING BEHIND ON JABS

    NHS England data shows a total of 3,716,720 jabs were given to people in London between December 8 and April 1, including 3,221,416 first doses and 495,304 second doses.

    But this is still behind the 5,166,341 first doses and 670,924 second doses given to people in the Midlands, a total of 5,837,265.

  • SCOTLAND RECORDS FOUR COVID DEATHS

    Scotland recorded four coronavirus patient deaths and 414 positive tests in the past 24 hours, according to the latest data.

    It brings the death toll to 7,614.

    Figures published by the Scottish Government also indicate the daily test positivity rate is 2.0%, up from 1.8% on Thursday.

  • AUSTRIA WILL GIVE 30,000 VACCINE DOSES TO CZECH REPUBLIC

    Austria will provide the Czech Republic with 30,000 doses of coronavirus vaccine, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz’s office said today.

    The Austrian government called the move a display of solidarity after it felt the European Union did not do enough to help its neighbour.

    It comes after EU ambassadors agreed to change the bloc’s vaccine distribution system for 10 million BioNTech-Pfizer doses due to be delivered in the second quarter, so needier countries could receive more.

    Of those 10 million doses, 2.85 million so-called “solidarity vaccines” will be shared between five countries – Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Latvia and Slovakia.

  • BREAKING: R RATE INCREASES IN ENGLAND

    The coronavirus reproduction number, or R value, in England is between 0.8 and 1, according to the latest Government figures,

    This is compared to a figure of between 0.7 and 0.9 for the whole of the UK last week.

    When the figure is above 1, an outbreak can grow exponentially, but when it is below 1, it means the epidemic is shrinking.

  • CURRENT LOCKDOWN HAS GOT TO BE THE LAST, SAYS SCOTTISH LABOUR LEADER

    The current coronavirus lockdown has “got to be the last” as another one would be “devastating”, Anas Sarwar has said.

    The Scottish Labour leader said he supported the “cautious” route out of lockdown but the Government should be open-minded about changing pace.

    He said: “This has got to be the last lockdown, we cannot have another lockdown because it would have devastating consequences on our economy, our health and particularly the wellbeing of our young people.

    “I think it’s right that we take this cautious approach.”

  • COVID CASES RISING IN 38 AREAS

    Covid cases are rising in 38 places in England, with hotspots spread across the country.

    But government data shows that on the whole, cases are dwindling across the nation and are no higher than 172 cases per 100,000 people in Rotherham.

    There are increases in a quarter of the 149 authorities.

    But most of these are barely up 10 per cent, and could just be down to a handful of new cases.

  • WHICH COUNTRIES ARE ON THE RED LIST?

  • MORE COUNTRIES ADDED TO THE UK’S TRAVEL RED LIST

    Four more countries have been added to the UK’s travel red list – banning all visitors over fears of Covid variants.

    International travellers from the Philippines, Pakistan, Kenya and Bangladesh will be refused entry into England from 4am on Friday, April 9.

    Only people with British and Irish citizenship – or residence rights in the UK – will be allowed to enter England from next Friday.

    But Brits who do arrive from these countries will be required to self-isolate in a government-approved hotel quarantine facility for 10 days – costing £1,750 per person.

  • MOST PUBS MAY NOT REOPEN UNDER CURRENT PLANS, TRADE BODY SAYS

    Only 40 per cent of pubs will have the outdoor space to reopen as some restrictions in England ease in April – and they will be “loss making”, a hospitality industry chief has said.

    There are around 37,500 pubs in England which could in theory open outdoors from April 12.

    But just 40 per cent of those – 15,000 – have a big enough outdoor space or beer garden to welcome back drinkers or be financially viable, according to the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA).

  • PHILIPPINES SEES RECORD HIGH IN CASES

    The Philippines has reported a daily record of 15,310 new coronavirus infections, one of the highest reported in the region since the pandemic started.

    It brings the country’s total to 771,497 cases.

    Meanwhile, the country announced 17 new deaths, taking fatalities to 13,320.

  • MHRA IDENTIFIES 30 RARE CASES OF BLOOD CLOTS LINKED TO OXFORD JAB

    The Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) says it has identified 30 cases of rare blood clot events associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

    This is out of 18.1 million doses administered up to and including March 24, the agency said.

    It said there were no reports for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine but stressed the risk associated with this type of blood clot is “very small” and the benefits of the vaccines against Covid-19 “continue to outweigh any risks”.

  • MINISTER DEFENDS VACCINE PASSPORTS

    Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said that coronavirus certificates could be a way of getting people back to “doing the things they love”.

    “Michael Gove, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, is conducting a review, which I am of course participating in, as to whether we could make Covid status certification work,” he told BBC News.

    “This is not about a vaccine passport, this is about looking at ways of proving that you are Covid secure, whether you have had a test or had the vaccine.

    “Clearly, no decisions have been made on that, because we have to weigh up different factors, the ethical considerations and so on, but it may be a way of ensuring we can get more people back doing the things they love.”

  • ONLY BRITISH & IRISH CITIZENS ALLOWED TO ENTER FROM BANNED COUNTRIES

    The DfT said only British and Irish citizens, or those with residence rights in the UK, will be allowed to enter from countries on the red list – and they must stay in a Government-approved quarantine facility for 10 days.

    They will also be required to arrive into a designated port.

    No direct flight bans from the countries will be put in place but passengers are being advised to check their travel plans before departing for England.

  • BREAKING: NEW TRAVEL BANS INTRODUCED

    Travel bans are to be introduced for visitors from the Philippines, Pakistan, Kenya and Bangladesh, the Department of Transport has said.

    The countries have been added to England’s so-called red list amid concerns about new Covid-19 variants from South Africa and Brazil.

    From 4am on Friday April 9, international visitors who have departed from or transited through the Philippines, Pakistan, Kenya and Bangladesh in the previous 10 days will be refused entry into England.

  • ALL KIDS IN THE UK COULD NEED JAB TO KEEP SCHOOLS OPEN

    All kids in the UK could have to be vaccinated to keep schools open if Covid infections spike again, says a government adviser.

    In a huge boost for the fight against coronavirus, Pfizer said trials of its vaccine in children aged 12 to 15 showed 100 per cent efficacy and a strong immune response.

    Vaccinating kids may help “keep things functioning normally across society”, according to Professor Adam Finn, a member of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

    Prof Finn said decisions on jabbing kids “will come later in the summer”, depending on “whether it’s going to be necessary to immunise children as well in order to keep the virus under control.

    “The important aspect of that for children is that we desperately want to keep schools open into the next academic year and avoid any further disruption to education.”

  • CARE HOME RESIDENTS HAVE BEEN ‘IGNORED’ DURING PANDEMIC, CAMPAIGNERS CLAIM

    Julia Jones, co-founder of John’s Campaign, which is challenging Government guidance that bans visits out of care homes for residents aged 65 and over, said residents had been “comprehensively ignored” during the pandemic.

    She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “The first point they did this was July last year, they said they are looking into guidance for visits out of care homes. And they have been looking into it ever since.

    “People living in care homes are people very often living towards the end of their lives, or they are people living with a learning disability, for whom their wellbeing is dependent on their routines.

    “These people have been comprehensively ignored.”

  • UK WON’T SEE EUROPE’S THIRD WAVE

    The UK is unlikely to experience a third wave of Covidon the scale of that which is currently sweeping through Europe, a leading expert in public health has said.

    Linda Bauld, professor of public health at the University of Edinburgh, told Times Radio: “I think we are in a very different position for two main reasons – the first one is that they are dealing with the B117 (variant) which unfortunately we exported to them and caused us huge challenges – still does – but much more in the winter.”

    She continued: “More importantly, 11.6% of citizens in the EU on average have been given their first dose of the vaccine – that’s all people, not just all adults – compared to over 40% of people in the UK, so you can see they are in a different place than we are.”

  • JAB PASSPORTS ‘COULD SCUPPER’ HOSPITALITY REOPENING

    Introducing vaccine passports could potentially “scupper things” for hospitality venues who are trying to reopen, Ms McClarkin added.

    On whether life could be made easier for businesses by vaccine passports as it could mean there is no need for them to track and trace, she told BBC Breakfast: “This would be an additional burden put on to the pubs.

    “We are desperate to get back open again. We are desperate to do that.

    “We will play our part in test and trace but the additional burden of the vaccine passport could really, really scupper things.”



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