Vaccine passport: Virologist reveals ‘limitation’ of Covid pass

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On Friday, 158 Covid related deaths were reported in the UK as the Government released the updated travel restrictions. The amber list is now merged with the green list as the international travel traffic light system will be simplified in England, starting from October 4.

With only the red list remaining, fully vaccinated people will not need to take a pre-departure test before leaving a country which is not on the red list.

Along with scrapping the amber list, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps also announced that eight countries will be removed from the red list on October 4.

Wales said it would follow England in removing Turkey, Pakistan, the Maldives, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Oman, Bangladesh and Kenya from the red list.

While uncertain if these changes will be permanent, a Downing Street spokesman cautioned that “the pandemic is still ongoing and there is always the chance of unexpected challenges, such as an even more transmissible or more deadly variant emerging”.

As the travel sector opens up to amber list countries, England is seeing a drastic increase of hospital patients – over seven times higher than this time last year.

One in 80 people in England had the deadly virus last week, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

However, that number is a slight decrease from the week before.

Cases have decreased, with 32,651 recorded in the last 24 hours, compared to 37,622 the same day last week.

This is following new plans unveiled by the Government to begin rolling out antibody cocktails to patients hospitalised with Covid.

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An antibody cocktail is set to be offered to people hospitalised with the virus whose bodies struggle to produce defences against the disease, according to the UK Government.

Sajid Javid, health secretary, said: “We have secured a brand new treatment for our most vulnerable patients in hospitals across the UK and I am thrilled it will be saving lives from as early as next week.

“The UK is leading the world in identifying and rolling out life-saving medicines, particularly for Covid-19, and we will continue our vital work to find the best treatments available to save lives and protect the NHS,” he added.

Ronapreve, co-developed by Roche and Regeneron, is the first neutralising antibody medicine aimed at combating Covid set to be authorised by the UK medicines regulator.

Paul McManus, Covid head at Roche Products, has said that the antibody cocktail represented “a significant milestone in how the NHS is able to fight this disease”.

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