FREEDOM from lockdown could come "sooner rather than later" on July 5 thanks to the Covid vaccine push, an expert has revealed.

Brendan Wren, professor of vaccinology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said that having 81 per cent of adults vaccinated was "very encouraging."

Asked whether the success of the vaccine programme means England could open earlier than July 19, he told Sky News: "We'd still need to be vigilant – but vigilance and vaccination are the two words.

"So, I think if the numbers continue to be promising then I think there's great hope we could open up on 5 July."

But he added that a "pretty miserable winter" is ahead – with lockdowns on the cards in order to battle the virus later in the year.

Meanwhile, Dominic Cummings lashed out again at Boris and his Government, saying "the horrific decision-making" of those in power amounted to "the blind leading the blind".

This attack follows last weeks outbursts, in which Cummings called out Boris Johnson, revealing that he had called Matt Hancock "totally f***ing hopeless".

Read our coronavirus live blog below for the latest news and updates…

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    ENGLAND TEAM MEMBERS PUT INTO ISOLATION

    ENGLAND have been so cautious about the threat of Covid-19 ripping through their squad they put Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell into quarantine in the back of an ambulances.

    Mount and Chilwell have been forced to isolate for ten days after coming into close contact with Scotland midfielder Billy Gilmour.

    The Chelsea youngster tested positive for coronavirus on Monday, ruling him out of the clash with Croatia at Hampden tonight.

    And his Stamford Bridge teammates were identified as close contacts after CCTV footage showed they spent 20 minutes talking to their pal in the tunnel after Friday’s goalless draw at Wembley.

    Once Public Health England confirmed them as being in contact, Mount and Chilwell were immediately told they needed to isolate until Monday 28 June.

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    GOVERNMENT MOVES TO SCRAP 10-DAY QUARANTINE FOR COVID CONTACTS

    Matt Hancock has said he plans to scrap the requirement for people who have had two Covid-19 jabs and come into contact with an infected person to isolate for 10 days.

    The Health Secretary said the approach is currently being piloted but will be introduced as soon as possible once clinicians have looked at the data.

    It came as Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the July 19 date for easing the final restrictions in England is “looking good”, when asked if he would rule out further lockdowns this winter.

    “You can never exclude that there will be some new disease, some new horror that we simply haven’t budgeted for, or accounted for,” he told reporters during a visit to a laboratory in Hertfordshire.

    “But looking at where we are, looking at the efficacy of the vaccines against all variants that we can currently see… I think it’s looking good for July 19 to be that terminus point.”

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    SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT PLANS TO LIFT ALL RESTRICTIONS BY 9 AUGUST

    The Scottish Government plans to move out of Covid-19 restrictions on August 9 if possible, Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

    Speaking in the Scottish Parliament, she said changes to current restriction levels in Scotland will be postponed until July 19.

    The First Minister said on that date it is hoped all of Scotland can move to the lowest level of restrictions, Level 0, three weeks later than initially planned on June 28.

    She said increasing case numbers are behind the delay, after 2,167 cases were recorded in Scotland in the past 24 hours – the highest daily figure since January 8.

    However, she set out a series of vaccination milestones and said if these and other criteria are met the majority of restrictions could be lifted by August 9.

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    SEE WU LATER

    A British scientist who tried to silence the Wuhan lab leak theory has been removed from the United Nations commission investigating the the origins of Covid.

    Dr Peter Daszak has been ousted from the UN-backed Lancet probe as he has repeatedly attempted to dismiss allegations the virus could have escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).

    Dr Daszak is the president of the EcoHealth Alliance – a US-based organisation that was revealed to funneled taxpayer cash to WIV to carry out gain of function research of bat-based coronaviruses.

    The 55-year-old has a close relationship with the lab’s chief Dr Shi Zhengli – dubbed “Batwoman” – and was last year jovially tweeting about singing karaoke with her and “partying in a bat cave” amid the pandemic.

    WIV however are the prime suspect as circumstantial evidence mounts that link the origins of the virus to a lab leak as the US ordered a “redoubled” probe.

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    EUROS 2020: MATT HANCOCK STRUGGLES TO EXPLAIN WHY SCOTLAND PLAYERS AREN'T ISOLATING AS GMB VIEWERS SAY 'HE KNOWS NOTHING ABOUT FOOTBALL'

    Euros 2020: Matt Hancock struggles to explain why Scotland players aren’t isolating as GMB viewers say ‘he knows nothing about football’

  • Joseph Gamp

    MATT HANCOCK: GOVERNMENT 'WORKING ON PLANS' FOR QUARANTINE-FREE TRAVEL

    The health secretary today said the Government is "working on" plans for quarantine-free travel for fully vaccinated Britons – but international travel remains a "difficult" area, Matt Hancock has said.

    Matt Hancock confirmed that ministers are looking at how to scrap the requirement for people to isolate for 10 days on return from an amber list country.

    Mr Hancock said he is "in favour of moving forward in this area" and replacing quarantine with daily testing.

    "This hasn't been clinically advised yet – we're working on it," he told Sky News.

    He added: "We're working on plans to essentially allow the vaccine to bring back some of the freedoms that have had to be restricted to keep people safe. After all, that's the whole purpose of the vaccination programme, that's why it's so important that every adult goes out and gets the jab."

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    MAPPED: COVID CASES IN THE NORTH OF ENGLAND

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    RISHI SUNAK SAYS HE HAS 'HOPE AND EXPECTATION' THAT JULY 19 WILL FINALLY SEE COVID RESTRICTIONS END IN ENGLAND

    Chancellor Rishi Sunak has said it is his "hope and expectation" that July 19 will be the end of coronavirus restrictions in England.

    Rishi was responding to a question in the Commons from Conservative Greg Smith (Buckingham) about businesses being "desperate" to return staff from furlough.

    Mr Smith said: "Will (Mr Sunak) agree with me that the way to get the economy moving and to get those employees back to work is for restrictions to absolutely be lifted by July 19?"

    Responding, Mr Sunak said: "(Mr Smith) is absolutely right, and my hope and expectation is we do lift those restrictions on July 19 because by that point we will have done what we set out to do, which is to get extra jabs in more people's arms to provide us with that extra level of protection we were seeking."

    Mr Sunak added: "The only sustainable way to protect those jobs is to get the economy reopened so those people can return to work and provide for their families."

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    FLIGHT OPERATORS TUI, VIRGIN ATLANTIC AND IAG JOIN MOUNTING LEGAL ACTION AGAINST GOVERNMENT TRAVEL RULES

    Tui has announced it has joined Virgin Atlantic and British Airways' parent company IAG in supporting legal action against the Government's coronavirus travel restrictions.

    The UK's largest tour operator said the three firms have become interested parties in a challenge that was first launched by Ryanair and Manchester Airports Group last week.

    The legal bid is an attempt to get the Government to be more transparent in relation to how it determines which countries are on the green, amber and red lists under the traffic light system for international travel.

    There are currently no major viable tourist destinations on the quarantine-free green list.

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    GRAPHIC: THE FIVE AREAS WHERE COVID CASES ARE RISING FASTEST

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    BORIS JOHNSON SAYS WE’RE ‘LOOKING GOOD’ FOR JULY 19 LOCKDOWN LIFT BUT RESISTS CALLS TO UNLOCK SOONER

    Boris Johnson says we’re ‘looking good’ for July 19 lockdown lift but resists calls to unlock sooner

  • Joseph Gamp

    'POSITIVE' TALKS OVER REACHING DEAL TO SAVE EURO 2020 FINAL AT WEMBLEY

    A deal to ensure the final stages of Euro 2020 are held at Wembley is on the brink of being struck between the UK Government and Uefa.

    A UK Government source said there had been "positive" talks with European football's ruling body to address the issues around coronavirus restrictions.

    Uefa is thought to be pushing for 2,500 VIPs to attend the final on July 11 without being subjected to the quarantine requirements that apply to other international travellers.

    A UK source said "final details are being worked through" but ministers have indicated that some restrictions would remain in place.

    Reports had suggested the final could be moved to Budapest if a deal cannot be reached and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi has also said that Rome could provide an alternative venue.

    But in a statement, Uefa said: "Uefa, the English FA and the English authorities are working closely together successfully to stage the semi-finals and final of Euro 2020 in Wembley and there are no plans to change the venue for those games."

  • Joseph Gamp

    BORIS JOHNSON 'DETERMINED TO ENSURE ROADMAP IRREVERSIBLE' SAYS DOWNING STREET

    Boris Johnson "re-emphasised the Government's determination to ensure the road map is irreversible" during a meeting with his Cabinet on Tuesday, according to Downing Street.

    A readout after the meeting said: "Cabinet concluded with a discussion on our ongoing response to Covid-19.

    "The Prime Minister re-emphasised the Government's determination to ensure the road map is irreversible and said he was constantly reviewing the data on cases, hospitalisations and deaths ahead of a decision on step four."

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    DOWNING STREET DISMISSES CLAIMS G7 SUMMIT CONTRIBUTED TO A SPIKE IN CASES

    Downing Street has denied that the G7 summit in Cornwall was responsible for an increase in coronavirus cases in the area.

    The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said it had always been expected that cases across the country would rise following the last easing of lockdown restrictions in England in May.

    “Attendees going to the G7 were tested before arriving and throughout the summit. We are not aware of any cases of transmission to local residents,” the spokesman said.

    “We always said that, following the move to step three (of the Government’s road map out of lockdown), we would see cases rising across the country. That is what we are seeing playing out.”

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    DOUBLE JABBY

    Brits will have flu and Covid booster jabs given together as part of a drive to beat viruses this winter, Matt Hancock has said.

    The Health Secretary said he was “worried” about the impact flu will have after a year of minimal cases.

    He said this winter to be “challenging”, adding that he hoped further lockdown restrictions would not be needed.

    “We are worried about flu this winter because people’s natural immunity will be lower because we haven’t had any serious flu for 18 months now,” he told Times Radio.

    “We had a difficult winter in 2019, we didn’t have flu at all really this last winter because of the restrictions that were in place for Covid, so it is something we are worried about.

    “We are going to have a very significant flu vaccination drive this autumn – potentially at the same time, you might get your Covid booster jab and your flu jab at the same time, we are testing whether that can be done.”

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    MASON MOUNT AND BEN CHILWELL OUT OF CZECH GAME AND MUST ISOLATE UNTIL MONDAY

    Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell are out of England's European Championship clash with the Czech Republic and must remain in isolation until the start of next week.

    The Three Lions' preparations for Tuesday's final Group D match were thrown into chaos when it emerged that the Chelsea pair had been in contact with Scotland's Billy Gilmour, who tested positive for coronavirus.

    Mount and Chilwell will now miss the pool decider at Wembley and could also miss England's last-16 match, with qualification assured but their place in the group up in the air.

    The Football Association said in a statement: "We can confirm that Ben Chilwell and Mason Mount must isolate up to and including next Monday (June 28). This decision has been taken in consultation with Public Health England.

    "The pair were confirmed overnight as close contacts of Scotland's Billy Gilmour after his positive test following last Friday's match."

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    HAVENS ABOVE

    Haven is extending its holiday season until November to keep up with demand from UK holidaymakers.

    It means 11 of the holiday company's parks will be open for longer, and there are breaks starting from just £61.

    Demand for staycations has been at an all-time high this year due to ongoing foreign travel restrictions.

    In response, certain Haven parks will stay open until November 15, giving guests an extra two weeks to enjoy a British coastal break.

    Breaks start from just £61 for a three or four-night stay and there are Stay and Stay+Play holidays available.

  • Joseph Gamp

    EXPLAINED: WHEN IS THE NEXT ANNOUNCEMENT ON HOLIDAYS?

    The Government has suggested it will announce its latest review of its ‘traffic light’ system on June 28.

    Currently people can visit countries on the Green list and return without needing to quarantine.

    For countries on the Amber list you must self-isolate for 10 days and travel to countries on the Red list is actively discouraged.

    Hopes that the Balearic Islands would be added to the list during the last review were dashed when instead the Government made few alterations except to move Portugal to the amber list – throwing thousands of people’s holidays into turmoil.

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    NEWCASTLE HEALTH BOSS SAYS THE CITY IS NOT SEEING A RISE IN HOSPITAL ADMISSIONS DESPITE INFECTION RATE INCREASE

    A public health boss has said rising Covid infection rates were not leading to rapid increases in hospital admissions.

    Newcastle upon Tyne has had England's biggest week-on-week case rise, up from 116.6 to 236.4 per 100,000.

    The city's director of public health, Professor Eugene Milne, said almost two thirds of the new cases were among largely unvaccinated under-25s.

    He said: "We also know that these age groups account for much of the mixing that takes place, be that in schools and universities or in social settings.

    "Only 1.4% of cases in Newcastle are among the more vulnerable over-65s and, critically, these rising infection rates are not resulting in any rapid increase in hospitalisations.

    "It was always to be expected that, as restrictions began to ease, infection rates would begin to rise as the virus was presented with further opportunities to spread."

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    SEE WU LATER

    A British scientist who tried to silence the Wuhan lab leak theory has been removed from the United Nations commission investigating the the origins of Covid.

    Dr Peter Daszak has been ousted from the UN-backed Lancet probe as he has repeatedly attempted to dismiss allegations the virus could have escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).

    Dr Daszak is the president of the EcoHealth Alliance – a US-based organisation that was revealed to funneled taxpayer cash to WIV to carry out gain of function research of bat-based coronaviruses.

    The 55-year-old has a close relationship with the lab's chief Dr Shi Zhengli – dubbed "Batwoman" – and was last year jovially tweeting about singing karaoke with her and "partying in a bat cave" amid the pandemic.

    WIV however are the prime suspect as circumstantial evidence mounts that link the origins of the virus to a lab leak as the US ordered a "redoubled" probe.

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    GOVERNMENT MOVES TO SCRAP 10-DAY QUARANTINE FOR COVID CONTACTS

    Matt Hancock has said he plans to scrap the requirement for people who have had two Covid-19 jabs and come into contact with an infected person to isolate for 10 days.

    The Health Secretary said the approach is currently being piloted but will be introduced as soon as possible once clinicians have looked at the data.

    It came as Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the July 19 date for easing the final restrictions in England is “looking good”, when asked if he would rule out further lockdowns this winter.

    “You can never exclude that there will be some new disease, some new horror that we simply haven’t budgeted for, or accounted for,” he told reporters during a visit to a laboratory in Hertfordshire.

    “But looking at where we are, looking at the efficacy of the vaccines against all variants that we can currently see… I think it’s looking good for July 19 to be that terminus point.”

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    VACC IN TIME

    Brits are to be freed from lockdown on July 19 as the vaccine defeats the Indian variant – but restrictions could return during a "challenging winter".

    Matt Hancock announced the particularly "encouraging" data over the past week means the country is now "on track" for the great reopening next month.

    He said hospitalisations are "barely rising" despite the spiralling number of cases while deaths remain "very, very low".

    But he warned the NHS faces an onslaught this winter because the flu will be back with a vengeance and the public's immunity to it is now low.

    Asked whether there could be a return to lockdown in just a few months' time, Mr Hancock replied: "I hope we don't have to do that."

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    PERIOD PAINS

    Alterations to usual period patterns among some women after they received a Covid-19 jab could have occurred “by chance”, leading gynaecologists have said.

    Experts at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) said that many women experience a temporary change to their periods in their lifetime, so for some women the change may occur around the time they receive a Covid-19 vaccine.

    But RCOG said that anecdotally some women had reported heavier periods after receiving the vaccine and it said it would support “more data collection in this area to understand why this might be the case”.

    It comes after data suggested that almost 4,000 women had reported changes after they received a vaccine.

    The Sunday Times reported that the Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) had 2,734 reports after women had received the AstraZeneca vaccine, 1,158 related to the Pfizer jab, and 66 linked to the Moderna vaccine up to May 17.

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    DOUBLE JABBY

    Brits will have flu and Covid booster jabs given together as part of a drive to beat viruses this winter, Matt Hancock has said.

    The Health Secretary said he was "worried" about the impact flu will have after a year of minimal cases.

    He said this winter to be "challenging", adding that he hoped further lockdown restrictions would not be needed.

    "We are worried about flu this winter because people's natural immunity will be lower because we haven't had any serious flu for 18 months now," he told Times Radio.

    "We had a difficult winter in 2019, we didn't have flu at all really this last winter because of the restrictions that were in place for Covid, so it is something we are worried about.

    "We are going to have a very significant flu vaccination drive this autumn – potentially at the same time, you might get your Covid booster jab and your flu jab at the same time, we are testing whether that can be done."

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    WATCH: MATT HANCOCK STRUGGLES TO EXPLAIN WHY SCOTTISH PLAYERS ARE SELF-ISOLATING

    Euros 2020: Matt Hancock struggles to explain why Scotland players aren’t isolating as GMB viewers say ‘he knows nothing about football’

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