Covid news latest – Spain and US to go on UK holiday quarantine list forcing you to stay in hotel for 10 days on return


SUMMER holidays have been dealt another blow this year as it was claimed Spain and the US could be added to England’s high-risk red list of 33 countries. 

This means all travel to and from the country would be banned, excluding British nationals returning home.

In addition, anyone entering England from these two countries would be required to self-isolate for ten days at a government-approved quarantine hotel, costing up to £1,750 per person. 

According to The Telegraph, the Department Of Transport met with health officials yesterday to discuss the latest date on new variants in both Spain and the US

A decision will be made on whether to add the countries to the red list at the Cabinet Covid operations committee this week. 

Both countries have seen local transmission of new variants that are of concern to the UK. 

Spain’s coronavirus cases is currently 3.1m, with more than 66,000 deaths – lower than the UK but one of the worst in Europe – while the US’s Covid cases are the highest in the world at 28m, and more than 500,000 deaths.

There are around 1,000 people arriving from the US each day and 500 from Spain.

Follow our live blog below for the very latest UK politics news

  • ‘WE MUST MAKE THIS LOCKDOWN THE LAST’

    Sir Keir Starmer today urged Boris Johnson to make sure this lockdown is the last as he called for a new post-war style spirit to rebuild the battered economy.

    The Labour leader praised the PM’s handling of the vaccine rollout and said there’s a “mood in the air” similar to when Britain needed to rise again from the ashes of WW2.

    In a keynote virtual speech he echoed Boris’ calls for the country to be “cautious and careful” when easing lockdown, and said a bigger state will be needed to get the country back on its feet.

    And he said he was “really pleased” to see rates of Covid coming down across the country, which “shows these restrictions are working”.

    Sir Keir said: “The PM is right. We’ve got to make sure this lockdown is the last lockdown, not make the mistakes we’ve made before which is to come out too quickly.”

  • KEY WORKERS WITH LONG-COVID ‘SHOULD GET COMPENSATION’

    Key workers who are suffering from long Covid should be given compensation, MPs have said.

    It is thought that more than 390,000 people in the UK have been left with debilitating symptoms such as muscle ache and fatigue after overcoming the virus.

    Now a total of 65 MPs have penned a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, urging him to recognise the illness as an occupational disease.

    Liberal democrat MP, Layla Moran, who chairs a committee of MPs looking into coronavirus said patients suffering from long Covid are finding it “close to impossible” to return to work.

    Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme she said many long Covid sufferers are the “true heroes of the pandemic”.

  • SURGE TESTING IN ANOTHER AREA AFTER SOUTH AFRICAN VARIANT FOUND

    Surge testing has been deployed to areas in Leeds to tackle new cases of the South African variant.

    Locals are urged to take up any offer of a test and book themselves in to get checked – to nip any spread of the variant in the bud.

    A Department of Health statement said: “Working in partnership with the local authority, additional testing and genomic sequencing is being deployed to targeted areas in Leeds LS8, including parts of Harehills and the area just north of Easterly Road where the COVID-19 variant first identified in South Africa has been found.

    “Extra testing is being introduced in addition to existing extensive testing, and in combination with following the current lockdown rules and remembering Hands Face Space advice, will help to monitor and suppress the spread of the virus. “

    Earlier this week the Government announced surge testing in spots in Manchester, Norfolk, Southampton and Surrey.

  • COVID CRISIS HAS SEEN ‘BEST OF BRITAIN’

    Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the response to the Covid crisis had seen the “best of Britain” but also exposed the country’s “fragilities”.

    In a speech delivered virtually, Sir Keir said: “I believe there is a mood in the air that we don’t detect often in Britain.

    “It was there in 1945 after the sacrifice of war and it is there again now – it is there in the determination that our collective sacrifice must lead to a better future.”

    He said next month’s Budget presented a “fork in the road” and offered the potential to “seize the moment” and create a future that looks “utterly unlike the past”.

    Sir Keir added: “We can’t return to business as usual, certainly not to an economy rooted in insecurity and inequality.”

  • ONE IN FOUR UK FIRMS PLAN TO FIRE STAFF IF FURLOUGH ENDS SOON, SAYS BCC

    A quarter of British businesses expect to fire staff if finance minister Rishi Sunak does not extend a job furlough programme that is due to expire at the end of April, the British Chambers of Commerce said on Thursday.

    Sunak is due to deliver his annual budget on March 3 and has promised to provide more support for jobs hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

    But he is also mindful that COVID-related spending has already pushed Britain’s budget deficit to its highest since World War Two.

    Britain entered a third national lockdown last month, which forced schools and most businesses to close their doors to the public, although staff can continue to work on site if there is no good alternative.

  • COVID CASES DROP ACROSS ENGLAND

    Official data from Public Health England (PHE) states that cases have fallen in 95 per cent of areas (298).

    The latest data from PHE comes as a major study revealed that infections have dropped two thirds since January.

    Scientists hailed the plummeting cases as “really encouraging” yesterday, but warned pressure on hospitals must ease before we unlock the country.

    Britain’s biggest virus infection survey found the R rate is down to 0.7, even as low as 0.6 in London.

    The React study, by Imperial College London, carried out swab tests on 85,000 people across England between February 6 and 13.

  • VOTERS EXPECTED TO HAVE TO SHOW ID FROM 2023

    Voters are expected to have to show ID to vote by 2023 under a crackdown on voter fraud.

    Anyone without a form of photo ID such as a passport or driving license will have to contact their council before polling day to confirm their ID if they want to cast their ballot.

    At the moment people simply turn up, give their name and address and are allowed to vote.

    Meanwhile, Brits living abroad will see their right to vote in UK elections extended beyond the current 15 year cap – allowing them to take part in votes indefinitely.

    The new plans will come as part of the Electoral Integrity Bill, which will be introduced to MPs in the next few months.

  • AVOID TAKING PARACETAMOL BEFORE COVID JAB, DOCTORS WARN

    Doctors say you might want to avoid painkillers before getting your coronavirus vaccine.

    Some may pop paracetamol or ibuprofen before heading in for their jab in order to prevent pain.

    While this won’t do any harm, it is not necessary and could possibly dampen the immune response to the jab.

    The Oxford/AstraZeneca and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines are being rolled out to Brits at a rapid pace.

    And the uptake so far has been higher than experts ever imagined – over 90 per cent.

  •  MOST GETTING COVID RESULT WITHIN 24 HOURS

    More than 85% of people who were tested for Covid in England in the week ending February 10 received their result with 24 hours.

    This includes those tested at a regional site, local site or mobile testing unit – as well as so-called “in-person” tests.

    This is down slightly from 86.3% in the previous week.

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson had pledged that, by the end of June 2020, the results of all in-person tests would be back within 24 hours.

    He told the House of Commons on June 3 he would get “all tests turned around within 24 hours by the end of June, except for difficulties with postal tests or insuperable problems like that”.

  • CONTINUED

    Ms Whately said: “What I want to do as we come out of the national lockdown is increase the amount of visiting.

    “I don’t see that we have to wait for the second vaccination dose. I want us to open up sooner than that.

    “But I will say with this, as generally as we come out of lockdown, we do have to be cautious.

    “Most residents in care homes have only had their first dose and some of them only very recently, so it will be step by step.

    “But I’m determined we can see people go back, if it’s to be able to hold hands again and to see somebody you haven’t been able to see very much in the last few months and over the last year.”

  • BRITS COULD BE ALLOWED TO HOLD HANDS OF ELDERLY LOVED ONES WITHIN WEEKS

    Brits could be allowed to hold hands with elderly loved ones again within weeks under plans to open up care home visits, a minister declared today.

    Care minister Helen Whately said the “tremendous pace” of vaccinations means visiting rules for residential homes could soon be relaxed.

    While some exceptional care home visits are currently allowed, many people have been unable to see their loved ones for almost a year.

    But with the jabs rollout now topping 16 million people, Ms Whately said she “really, really wants” to reunite families again.

    And she insisted that could happen before care home residents have had their second jab – raising the prospect of rules being eased within weeks.

  • SCHOOLS WILL BE FIRST TO REOPEN

    The PM will set out the plans for easing lockdown on Monday.

    Schools are set to be the first things to reopen from March 8 onwards – pending any dramatic shift in infections or hospitalisations.

    However, it’s not yet clear whether it will be all pupils or they will stagger them.

    It may be that some kids in key exam years will go back first, followed by others at a later date.

    Professor Neil Ferguson backed the reopening of schools this week, adding he was “very surprised and encouraged by how quickly case numbers have been coming down in recent weeks”.

  • VACCINE PASSPORTS MAY BE NEEDED FOR CINEMA TRIPS

    Vaccine passports could be needed to go to the cinema and theatre under plans being pushed by some ministers to help get “dying” businesses open again faster.

    Boris Johnson is being urged to reconsider his opposition to issuing jabs certificates, which inoculated people would be able to use to get their lives back to normal.

    Meanwhile, increasing numbers of firms are defying Government pleas and eyeing up “no jab, no job” policies for staff who want or need to physically return to work.

    But the PM is instead pressing ahead with plans for a testing blitz of millions of people to help get the country out of lockdown and into “a new normal”.

    Downing St is finalising the plan, which will run under the slogan “Are you ready? Get testing. Go.”

  • RULE OF SIX LIKELY TO BE RESTORED

    Boris Johnson is set to reveal his lockdown roadmap next Monday as coronavirus infections and deaths continue to fall.

    Rules on meeting people outside are likely to be relaxed in time for the Spring.

    While current rules allow Brits to meet one person outside, the rule of six is likely to be restored.

    It’s also expected that the rules will be relaxed so that Brits will be able to sit on a bench and relax with friends – rather than be ordered to keep on moving as part of the exercise rules.

    Outdoor sports such as tennis, outdoor swimming and golf could also be reopened in the coming weeks – though close contact sports may have to wait a while longer.

  • COVID CASES DOWN TWO-THIRDS SINCE JANUARY

    Covid cases have dropped by two thirds since January in a “better decline than we could have hoped for”.

    Scientists hailed the plummeting cases as “really encouraging” yesterday, but warned pressure on hospitals must ease before we unlock the country.

    Britain’s biggest virus infection survey found the R rate is down to 0.7, even as low as 0.6 in London.

    The React study, by Imperial College London, carried out swab tests on 85,000 people across England between February 6 and 13.

    They revealed all regions of England have seen a fall in cases – with London, the South East and West Midlands seeing the biggest dip.

  • MUST BE ‘PATIENT’ WHILE WAITING FOR HOLIDAY FREEDOM

    Health minister Helen Whately urged the public to be “patient” while waiting for the return of freedoms such as going abroad.

    Asked about booking summer holidays, she told ITV’s Good Morning Britain programme: “We need to be a bit patient.

    “We’re seeing really good data coming through, clearly on the rates coming right down, though I should remind you and remind viewers that we still have got over 20,000 patients in hospital with Covid.

    “On Saturday alone we had over 1,000 new admissions with Covid. So people are still catching it and still being hospitalised. So we need to take this step by step.

    “But on Monday the Prime Minister is going to set out the road map for coming out of this and we will see more information then about the steps that we’re going to be able to take to ease the restrictions and get back more towards normal.”

  • PM TO DECIDE ‘ROADMAP TO RECOVERY’ BASED ON DOSSIER

    Boris Johnson is believed to have been handed a dossier of data last night to help him decide the speed of his “Roadmap to Recovery” blueprint.

    The PM will use the numbers to shape his official plan to ease lockdown, to be published on Monday.

    Mr Johnson this week vowed to be driven by data not dates in his “cautious and prudent” lifting of Covid restrictions, starting on March 8 with reopening schools.

    But The Sun understands the document will also mention other specific dates as the earliest possible opportunity for shops and pubs to reopen if cases continue to fall and vaccinations lead to a decline in deaths.

    The PM is due to receive the up-to-date analysis by this morning at the latest. It will show for the first time how effective the Oxford jab has been

  • LOCAL LOCKDOWNS COULD BE USED TO STOP MUTANT STRAINS

    Pop-up postcode lockdowns could be used to squash future outbreaks of new Covid variants under plans to end the national lockdown.

    The PM has instructed Whitehall to come up with the blueprint after saying he wants to lift nationwide restrictions for good.

    It will be built on the experiences of last year’s tiers system and this month’s localised mass-testing effort to contain the South African variant.

    Targeted shutdowns would be imposed in post-codes where new variants are identified to stop the spread of potentially vaccine resistant mutations.

    They will be accompanied by surge testing and a detailed contact tracing system to try and squash any outbreaks early on.

  • WHEN WILL PUBS AND RESTAURANTS REOPEN?

    The PM warned this weekend that the path out of lockdown would be “cautious but irreversible” and he plans to outline exactly what that may mean during a major roadmap announcement next Monday.

    Some of his plans appear to have leaked early, however, with the Daily Mail reporting a month-by-month timeline of gradual lockdown easing.

    In June, pubs and restaurants will be allowed to offer rule of six measures indoors before finally, in July, groups of unlimited size are allowed in, albeit with social distancing.

    Outdoor drinking in pub back gardens could be back on the cards as soon as April, if cases continue to fall.

    Unfortunately, sitting in a bar is unlikely to be allowed until May at the earliest according to industry insiders.

  • CHARLOTTE CHURCH’S ESTRANGED DAD DIES FROM COVID

    Charlotte Church’s estranged dad has died from Coronavirus aged 56 – before the pair were able to reconnect.

    Stephen Reed, who walked out on his wife Maria and Charlotte when she was just two-years-old, had been desperate to be reunited with his daughter but never got the chance.

    He was admitted to the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, with coronavirus before Christmas.

    It is believed that he died at his home in Cowbridge, Vale of Glamorgan, surrounded by family.

  • SPAIN AND US COULD JOIN TRAVEL RED-LIST

    Spain and the US could be added to England’s high-risk red list of 33 countries. 

    This means all travel to and from the country would be banned, excluding British nationals returning home.

    In addition, anyone entering England from these two countries would be required to self-isolate for ten days at a government-approved quarantine hotel, costing up to £1,750 per person. 

    There are currently 33 countries on the UK’s travel ban list which includes Portugal, South America and South African nations.

    According to The Telegraph, the Department Of Transport met with health officials yesterday to discuss the latest date on new variants in both Spain and the US. A decision will be made on whether to add the countries to the red list at the Cabinet Covid operations committee this week. 

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