BRITS will find out which holiday destinations will make the so-called green list THIS Friday – while four UK deaths were recorded yesterday.

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

    CARE HOME DEATHS

    Some 50 care home resident deaths involving Covid-19 in England and Wales were registered in the week to April 23, down 28 per cent on the previous week.

    In total, 42,381 care home residents in England and Wales have had Covid-19 recorded on their death certificate since the pandemic began.

    The ONS figures cover deaths of care home residents in all settings, not just in care homes.

  • Patrick Knox

    COVID DEATHS IN ENGLAND & WALES FALLING

    A total of 260 deaths registered in England and Wales in the week ending April 23 mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate, according to the Office for National Statistics – the lowest number since the week ending September 25.

    The figure is down 28 per cent on the previous week.

    Around one in 38 (2.6 per cent) deaths registered in England and Wales in the week to April 23 mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate.

  • Patrick Knox

    MUTANT BUG ‘SPREADS LIKE WILDFIRE' IN JAB NOT SPOTS

    Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi warned that coronavirus could still spread like "wildfire" in communities where take-up of jabs was low.

    He told ITV's Good Morning Britain: "We are now able to see exactly where, by postcode, which communities we need to really focus on.

    "We are running some pilots in places like Luton on offering the vaccine to multi-generational households.

    "Vaccine positivity is incredibly high in the UK, it's running at 83-84 per cent of adults saying they will be vaccinated.

    "Nine out of 10 45-year-olds have now got the protection of a single dose.

    "That's great, but that 14-15 per cent where they are still hesitant, if the virus gets hold of those communities it will go through them like wildfire. I will not stand by and watch that happen."

  • Patrick Knox

    GRAPHIC: UK COVID-19 CASES AND DEATHS PER DAY

  • Patrick Knox

    HOL, YEAH!

    Sunseekers looking for a European break this month can head to Gibraltar or Malta, The Sun can reveal.

    The two tiny Mediterranean sunspots are set to be included on the green list for quarantine-free travel after 17 May – due to be announced this Friday.

    A handful of countries will be given coveted green status in a new travel traffic light system based on jab roll out and Covid rates – meaning Brits can visit with just two tests on their return.

    Portugal may also get the nod, but holiday favourites Spain and Greece will have to likely wait until a review in June, sources say.

  • Patrick Knox

    UK INVESTS IN TESTING LABS TO COMBAT MUTANT BUGS

    A multimillion-pound investment in testing capacity will help the UK stay "one step ahead" of coronavirus and any new variants, senior officials said.

    Health Secretary Matt Hancock said testing facilities at Porton Down in Wiltshire are to be bolstered to help "future proof" the country, with a cash boost confirmed for the expansion of the laboratories where scientists test existing and new vaccines against variants of concern.

    Tests on blood samples can help scientists monitor the effectiveness of the coronavirus vaccines.

    Current testing capacity is 700 tests a week, but the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said this will increase to 1,500 by January 2022 – backed with a previous £20 million investment.

  • Patrick Knox

    COVID PASSPORT PHONE APP

    Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said the NHS is piloting Covid vaccine and test certification on its smartphone app.

    When asked how soon this will be up and running, he told Sky News: "The app is one part of the certification process, so it's very important that people have the capability to be able to demonstrate they've had a test, as we require other essential travel from non-red list countries to have a pre-departure test."

    He said the NHS will make provisions for those without a smartphone, adding that transport secretary Grant Shapps is "leading his G7 colleagues to agree the protocols for travel around the world".

  • Patrick Knox

    BOJO TOLD TO ‘GET ON WITH ENDING LOCKDOWN’

    Restless Tory MPs want the PM to speed up parts of his roadmap, including allowing more guests at weddings before June 21.

    They have accused him of failing to stick to his promise that he’ll follow “data not dates” when deciding how to lift restrictions.

    Tory MP Philip Davies said there is “no justification” for not returning the country “back to normal” now.

    He told told The Sun: “I want everything reopened much faster and weddings is one of them. It’s been devastating for the industry. Everyone vulnerable has now been vaccinated, what is the justification for it?”

  • Abe Hawken

    EIGHT JABS

    Vaccines chief Nadhim Zahawi said ministers were expecting up to eight vaccines to be available by the autumn, including one that could protect against three different Covid variants in a single jab.

    Asked when the booster jabs would begin, Mr Zahawi said: "The most likely date will be September.

    "Jonathan Van-Tam [the deputy chief medical officer] thinks that if we are going to see a requirement for a booster jab to protect the most vulnerable, [it] would be around September.”  

  • Abe Hawken

    TRIPLE SHOT

    A third jab is to be offered to over 50s this autumn in an attempt to tackle the new threat of variants this winter.

    The third shot will be given in conjunction with the annual flu jab and will either be a new vaccine designed to fight variants or another dose of an existing vaccine. 

    A senior government minister told The Times: "We will have a lot to say about the booster programme soon. It’s looking really positive so far.

    "We think that the level of protection in the population to any variant will be so high that by Christmas, Covid-19 should have just faded away into the background like any other illness in circulation."

  • Abe Hawken

    'ONE STEP AHEAD'

    A multimillion-pound investment in testing capacity will help the UK stay “one step ahead” of coronavirus and any new variants, senior officials said.

    Health Secretary Matt Hancock said testing facilities at Porton Down in Wiltshire are to be bolstered to help “future proof” the country, with a cash boost confirmed for the expansion of the laboratories where scientists test existing and new vaccines against variants of concern.

    Tests on blood samples can help scientists monitor the effectiveness of the coronavirus vaccines.

    Current testing capacity is 700 tests a week, but the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said this will increase to 1,500 by January 2022 – backed with a previous £20 million investment.

  • Abe Hawken

    FRIDAY JOY

    Insiders think most top destinations including France will be given the green travel go ahead by the school summer holidays in July. 

    Medics led by top doc Jonathan Van Tam will present country data to ministers today as they meet to approve the first tranche of green and amber countries. 

    Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is due to unveil the full list on Friday – with travel industry bosses braced for a flurry of bookings this weekend. 

  • Abe Hawken

    SAY I DO, PM

    Brits desperate to tie the knot in style are calling on Boris to relax tough restrictions on weddings – after he ripped up his roadmap to allow more people to attend funerals. 

    MPs, couples and campaigners say people should be able to get married surrounded by all their loved ones after just ONE Covid death was recorded on Monday, and the PM brought forward funeral rules by nearly a month.

    Strict rules on weddings mean that at the moment just 15 people can attend a ceremony – which will rise to 30 later this month.

    The £15billion industry employs 400,000 people across the UK alone.

  • Joseph Gamp

    WATCH: UK RECORDS FOUR MORE COVID DEATHS

    UK records FOUR more Covid deaths the day after fatalities fell to one as 1,946 more people test positive

     

  • Joseph Gamp

    CONTINUED: G7 FOREIGN MINISTERS UNDER PRESSURE

    But in a letter to the Foreign Secretary, Mr Brown said: "To date, one billion doses of anti-Covid-19 vaccines have been administered. That is an extraordinary achievement.

    "But the achievement is diminished by the scale of inequality in vaccine provision. Covax has now delivered over 50 million doses of vaccine to more than 120 countries.

    "Yet low-income countries account for less than 1% of the doses administered to date.

    "The vaccine gap between the richer and poorer parts of the world is growing by the day.

    "Closing that gap is not just a moral imperative but an urgent medical necessity for combating Covid-19, and preventing it mutating and threatening every country, rich or poor."

  • Joseph Gamp

    G7 FOREIGN MINISTERS UNDER PRESSURE TO DO MORE ON FAIR VACCINE DISTRIBUTION

    Ministers from the G7 group of leading industrialised nations are under pressure to do more to help poorer countries access coronavirus vaccines and treatments.

    The meeting, chaired by Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, is expected to consider equitable access to vaccines but the ministers are unlikely to commit to specific pledges for the number of doses they will offer developing nations.

    Former prime minister Gordon Brown and World Health Organisation chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus have called on the wealthy nations to do more.

    Mr Raab has stressed the UK's commitment to the Covax initiative, which distributes coronavirus jabs to developing nations.

    He said: "I think the Covax mechanism is particularly important at this very sensitive time, for the developing countries, vulnerable countries and the poorer countries around the world."

  • Joseph Gamp

    DIGITAL COVID-19 STATUS CERTIFICATES 'MUST BE BUILT ON TRUST'

    Any scheme which uses digital certificates to prove a person's coronavirus status would only be a success if the public is able to "trust" the way their data is used, the Information Commissioner will say on Wednesday.

    The Government has said it is "considering" using the official NHS app as a digital route to allow holidaymakers to show they have been vaccinated and unlock overseas travel.

    Speaking at the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) Data Protection Practitioners' annual conference, Elizabeth Denham is expected to say such a system can only work if the public is able to trust that their personal data was being used responsibly and their privacy protected.

    "The success of any Covid-status scheme will rely on people trusting them, and that means people having confidence in how the scheme would use their personal information," the Information Commissioner will say.

    "There is simply not an option today for any organisation, private or public sector, to say 'how we use data is complex, this service is important, so just trust us'. That applies as much to Covid-status certificates as it does to social media companies or app developers."

  • Joseph Gamp

    UK TO STAY 'ONE STEP AHEAD' OF COVID-19 WITH INVESTMENT IN TESTING LAB

    A multimillion-pound investment in testing capacity will help the UK stay "one step ahead" of coronavirus and any new variants, senior officials said.

    Health Secretary Matt Hancock said testing facilities at Porton Down in Wiltshire are to be bolstered to help "future proof" the country, with a cash boost confirmed for the expansion of the laboratories where scientists test existing and new vaccines against variants of concern.

    Tests on blood samples can help scientists monitor the effectiveness of the coronavirus vaccines.

    Current testing capacity is 700 tests a week, but the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said this will increase to 1,500 by January 2022 – backed with a previous £20 million investment.

    The DHSC said a further £29.3 million investment will double the capacity for testing variant samples to 3,000 per week when the work is completed.

  • Joseph Gamp

    GRAPHIC: UK COVID-19 CASES AND DEATHS PER DAY

  • Joseph Gamp

    CALL FOR CARE HOME VISITING GUIDANCE ‘TO BE UNDERPINNED BY LAW’

    A new report says Government guidance on care home visits must be underpinned in law to protect the rights of residents and their families.

    The Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) says it is “completely unacceptable” for some care home providers to argue it is not safe to follow Government guidance.

    Current guidance says every care home resident in England can nominate up to two named visitors for regular visits, and residents with the highest care needs can also nominate an essential care giver.

    It says staff should not make blanket decisions for groups of people and that the individual resident’s views, needs and wellbeing should be taken into account when making visiting decisions.

    But MPs and peers said providers have not felt bound by the guidance as it is not underpinned in law.

  • Joseph Gamp

    US ADMINISTERS 247.8 MILLION DOSES OF COVID-19 VACCINES

    The United States has administered 247,769,049 doses of Covid-19 vaccines in the country as of Tuesday morning.

    It has also distributed 318,474,035 doses, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Tuesday.

    Those figures are up from the 246,780,203 vaccine doses the CDC said had gone into arms by Monday out of 312,509,575 doses delivered.

    The agency said 147,894,671 people had received at least one dose while 106,168,588 people are fully vaccinated as of Tuesday.

  • Joseph Gamp

    MOM-OF-FOUR, 35, DIES FROM BLOOD CLOT IN BRAIN 11 DAYS AFTER GETTING JOHNSON & JOHNSON COVID VACCINE, FAMILY SAYS

    A MOTHER-of-four died from a brain blood clot just 11 days after receiving the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, her family says.

    Anne VanGeest, 35, of Eastern Township, Michigan, was given the one-shot vaccine on April 8 – five days before the CDC and FDA temporarily paused use of the jab over blood clot concerns.

    Read more here.

     

  • Joseph Gamp

    IRISH COVID-19 JOBLESS CLAIMS FALL 4% AS ECONOMY REOPENS

    The number of people in Ireland claiming temporary coronavirus-related jobless benefits fell by 4 per cent over the last week ahead of a substantial reopening of the economy in the coming weeks, data shown today.

    Pandemic Unemployment Payment claims dropped to 385,211 from 403,095, the social protection department said. 

    The total rose as high as 480,000 in February when the closure of most shops, building sites and all hospitality facilities pushed the unemployment rate to close to 25 per cent.

  • Joseph Gamp

    BORIS TOLD TO ‘GET ON WITH ENDING LOCKDOWN’

    Boris Johnson has been told to “get on with it” and end lockdown faster after Britain recorded its lowest death toll in nine months.

    Restless Tory MPs want the PM to speed up parts of his roadmap, including allowing more guests at weddings before June 21.

    They have accused him of failing to stick to his promise that he’ll follow “data not dates” when deciding how to lift restrictions.

    Tory MP Philip Davies said there is “no justification” for not returning the country “back to normal” now.

    He told told The Sun: “I want everything reopened much faster and weddings is one of them. It’s been devastating for the industry. Everyone vulnerable has now been vaccinated, what is the justification for it?”

  • Joseph Gamp

    COVID ‘NAILS’ ARE LATEST NEW SYMPTOM

    Prof Tim Spector, who leads the Zoe Symptom Study app, wrote on Twitter: “Do your nails look odd? 

    “COVID nails are increasingly being recognised as the nails recover after infection and the growth recovers leaving a clear line. Can occur without skin rashes and appears harmless.”

    He posted an image of what appear to be women’s fingernails with horizontal streaks across them.

    Fingernails grow in roughly six-month cycles. 

    Therefore, Prof Spector is suggesting that a change in appearance related to an infection would come with a slight delay.

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