Coronavirus UK news updates – Europe BEGS vaccinated Brits to take summer holiday with green list travel just weeks away

EUROPE is begging vaccinated Brits to take their summer holidays on the continent this year as coronavirus cases keep falling.

While just a "handful" of countries are due to get the coveted green status from May 17 when the list is announced later this week, a three-weekly review will pave the way for more places to be added.

Holiday hotspot Portugal is on the “cusp” on making the initial list, with an insider saying it would go green “soonish” even if it missed out this time around.

Popular destinations including Spain, Greece and France are pencilled in by Downing Street to be added by the end of June, reports the Telegraph.

A government source said the list will be updated every few weeks to give Brits the chance to get away.

Read our coronavirus live blog below for the latest updates…

  • Patrick Knox

    AUSTRALIA WALKS BACK 'RACIST' INDIA BAN AFTER BACKLASH

    Its prime minister fended off accusations of racism and having blood on his hands today, as he retreated from a threat to jail Australians trying to escape Covid-wracked India.

    Scott Morrison's government moved to ban travellers from India from entering Australia until May 15, threatening rule-breakers — including Australian citizens —with prison time.

    Amid a widespread backlash, Morrison today said it was "highly unlikely" that Australians who skirted a ban would be jailed.

    "I think the likelihood of any of that occurring is pretty much zero," Morrison said in a breakfast-time media blitz.

    Around 9,000 Australians are believed to be in India, where hundreds of thousands of new coronavirus cases are being detected every day and the death toll is soaring.

  • John Hall

    LOW DEATHS

    THE UK recorded one new death yesterday – the first time fatalities have been that low since last summer.

    It appears to show the vaccine programme is working, with less serious illnesses resulting in less deaths.

    The last time there was a daily deaths figure as low as this was on August 30 last year.

    There is often a lag over the weekend in reporting numbers of deaths and new infections, but fatalities have been encouragingly low for weeks.

  • Warren Chrismas

  • John Hall

    RECORD CASES FOR CAMBODIA

    Cambodia reported a daily record of 938 new coronavirus cases, the health ministry said in a statement today.

    It comes a day after Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered the end of a blanket lockdown in the capital Phnom Penh.

    The Southeast Asian nation has recorded one of the world's smallest Covid–19 caseloads, but the recent outbreak that was first detected in late February has caused infections to climb to 16,299, with 107 deaths.

  • John Hall

    RUMOURED TROUBLE-FREE HOLIDAY DESTINATIONS POST-LOCKDOWN

    International travel is back on the cards for locked-down Brits, with more announcements expected.

    The i newspaper delved into possible holiday hotspots to gauge the “prospects for trouble-free travel”.

    • Spain – Brits love Spain, with 17.4million travelling there in 2019. It hopes to be on the UK’s green list of quarantine-free travel.
    • France – Still in a national lockdown, and President Emmanuel Macron seems to trying to fob off Brits in favour of Americans and other EU holidaymakers, so this could be on the government’s amber list.
    • Greece – Super keen to welcome Brits to its sunny shore, Greece is has said it wants jabbed UK tourists to visit from May, but it might stay on the amber list for now.
    • Italy – Likely to be on the amber list, as Italy’s PM has said that tourism is likely to resume from June.
    • Portugal – Could feature on the UK’s green list, as its jab rollout is going well, and its coronavirus infection rate has dropped.
    • Turkey – Turkey is in a three-week lockdown.

    EU OPENS BORDERS TO BRITS FOR HOLIDAY RUSH

    The EU is planning to let in British tourists who haven’t had the Covid jab – in a huge boost for summer holidays.

    Brussels has offered hope for sunshine breaks after revealing proposals for easing border rules for those with vaccinations – as well as those from countries with low infection rates.

    Under current EU restrictions, only people from seven countries, including Australia and Singapore, are allowed to enter the bloc for non-essential reasons.

    But new proposals would mean foreign citizens who are fully vaccinated or from countries with a “good epidemiological situation” would be allowed to travel.

    People arriving from the UK, Russia and a number of other countries would be able to meet the new criteria, it’s understood. However, US citizens might not.

    MOST PEOPLE STILL FOLLOWING SELF-ISOLATION RULES

    A majority of people who test positive for Covid-19 are continuing to follow the rules for self-isolating, a new survey has suggested.

    Some 84 per cent of respondents said they fully adhered to the self-isolation requirements for the entire 10-day period after testing positive for coronavirus.

    Just 15 per cent of peoplE reported at least one activity during self-isolation that broke the rules, such as leaving home or having visitors for a reason not permitted under legislation.

    The figures have been compiled by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) based on responses collected from adults in England between April 12 and 16.

    They suggest that most people are still following the requirements for self-isolating despite the sharp fall in Covid-19 infections and deaths in recent weeks, along with the ongoing rollout of coronavirus vaccines.

    However, self-isolating is continuing to have an impact on people's wellbeing.

    More than a third (37 per cent ) of those who tested positive reported that self-isolation had a negative effect on their mental health.

    INDIA NEARS 20 MILLION COVID CASES AS EUROPE EYES REOPENING

    India's total coronavirus caseload neared 20 million Monday, in stark contrast to gradual reopenings in Europe and other wealthier parts of the world where rapid vaccination programmes have helped keep new cases down.

    Highlighting the inequalities, the World Health Organization on Monday pleaded with the G7 group of wealthy nations to dig deep and fund the global Covid-19 recovery, warning the crisis cannot be resolved worldwide if they do not step up.

    In India cases have soared by around eight million since the end of March, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi under growing pressure to take decisive action to reverse the surge.

    Meanwhile Europe is looking at easing travel restrictions on foreign tourists as early as next month, if they are fully vaccinated or come from a country with Covid under control.

    Doctors in the resort state of Goa on India's western coast described hospitals that are overwhelmed by the spike in cases.

    HOPES BRITS HAVE CHOICE OF OVERSEAS DESTINATIONS

    British holidaymakers could visit destinations including Italy and France this summer if Covid-19 cases there can be driven down to UK levels, a senior scientific adviser has said.

    Professor Neil Ferguson, from Imperial College London, whose modelling work informs Government scientists, said he had not yet booked a break abroad but the risks were focused on countries with higher infection levels than the UK.

    It comes after the European Commission said it would ease restrictions on travel to the bloc amid progressing Covid-19 vaccination campaigns and lower infection rates.

    The EU is proposing "to allow entry to the EU for non-essential reasons not only for all persons coming from countries with a good epidemiological situation, but also all people who have received the last recommended dose of an EU-authorised vaccine".

    The UK Government's "green list" of countries to which people can travel without having to isolate for 14 days on their return is also expected to be released shortly.

    • John Hall

      BRAZIL REGISTERS 983 NEW COVID-19 DEATHS

      Brazil registered 983 COVID-19 deaths on Monday and 24,619 additional cases, according to data released by the nation's Health Ministry.

      The South American country has now registered 408,622 total coronavirus deaths and 14,779,529 total confirmed cases.

    • Patrick Knox

      FACTORIES ENJOYS STRONGEST GROWTH FOR NEARLY 27 YEARS

      The UK's manufacturing sector hit growth speeds not seen in nearly 27 years as the post-Covid recovery gathered pace, according to new data.

      The closely-followed IHS Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) hit a score of 60.9 in April – anything above 50 is seen as a sector in growth – beating 58.9 in March.

      Respondents to the monthly survey said they have seen output growth due to the loosening of lockdown restrictions, improved demand and rising backlogs of work.

      It means manufacturing in the UK has growth for 11 months in a row.

    • John Hall

      ONLY ONE UK COVID DEATH REPORTED YESTERDAY

      The UK has recorded one new Covid death yesterday – the first time fatalities have dropped to a single figure since last summer.

      It appears to show the vaccine programme is working, with fewer serious illnesses resulting in deaths.

      There is often a lag over the weekend in reporting numbers of deaths and new infections, but fatalities have been encouragingly low for weeks.

      The UK has recorded 1,649 new Covid cases in the last 24 hours, with infections remaining steady.

      It comes weeks before the next stage in the roadmap out of lockdown – when people in England will be able to mix indoors as a group of six.

    • John Hall

      UK HITS 50 MILLION COVID VACCINE MILESTONE BORIS REVEALS

      THE UK has dished out 50million Covid jabs in the record-breaking rollout, Boris Johnson confirmed this afternoon.

      Today the country tipped over the impressive number, with one in four Brits now fully protected with two doses

      The Prime Minister confirmed the staggering achievement in the fight against Covid today.

      He told reporters on a visit to Hartlepool: "As things stand, and the way things are going, with the vaccine rollout going the way that it is – we have done 50 million jabs as I speak to you today, quarter of the adult population, one in four have had two jabs.

      "You are seeing the results of that really starting to show up in the epidemiology."

      Read more here.

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