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Lockdown end news – live: Current wave could see 200,000 cases a day


Jonathan Ashworth urges JCVI to reconsider whether over-12s should get vaccine

The current wave of coronavirus infections could see up to 200,000 new cases a day, Imperial College London epidemiologist Neil Ferguson has warned.

Prof Ferguson told BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show that it was “almost inevitable” that daily infection rates would hit a record 100,000 within a week, and that cases could spike at more than double that figure.

His frightening announcement comes just hours ahead of England’s “freedom day”, where all remaining coronavirus restrictions are set to be lifted on Monday.

All adults in the UK have been offered a Covid-19 vaccine ahead of the planned lifting of coronavirus restrictions on Monday, the government says.

The latest figures show that 46.2 million adults (87.8 per cent of the population) have had a first dose of a vaccine, and 35.7 million (67.8 per cent) are fully vaccinated.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the vaccination target had been met, and called it an “extraordinary achievement”.

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Chancellor tweets he will self-isolate

Amid outrage around an exemption to self-isolation rules, Rishi Sunak took to Twitter on Sunday morning, saying that he would self-isolate as “the sense” of unfairness around the rules was “wrong”.

The chancellor tweeted: “Whilst the test and trace pilot is fairly restrictive, allowing only essential government business, I recognise that even the sense that the rules aren’t the same for everyone is wrong.

“To that end I’ll be self isolating as normal and not taking part in the pilot.”

Celine Wadhera18 July 2021 10:58


Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak say they will self-isolate after exemption sparks outrage

Prime minister Boris Johnson and chancellor Rishi Sunak have announced that they will now self-isolate, withdrawing their “get out of jail free card” after their exemption sparked outrage.

Political editor Andrew Woodcock has more.

Celine Wadhera18 July 2021 10:54


It will take three weeks before we know the effects of relaxing Covid restrictions, says Prof Ferguson

It will take three weeks before we know the effects of relaxing Covid restrictions, Professor Neil Ferguson said.

Speaking on BBC 1’s Andrew Marr Show, Prof Ferguson said that it would become clear whether the government’s strategy of moving towards herd immunity had worked “when case numbers start to plateau and start going down”.

He added that it would take longer for hospitalisatons and deaths to decline.

“The best projections suggest that could happen any time from, really mid-August to mid-September. So, we will have to be patient,” he said.

“It’ll also take us three weeks before we know the effect of Monday, of relaxing restrictions, and what that will do to case numbers. So, it’s going to be quite a period of time.”

Prof Ferguson’s comments were similar to those of housing secretary Robert Jenrick, who said earlier this morning, that the peak of the third wave of Covid infections would likely be seen by late-August or early-September.

Celine Wadhera18 July 2021 10:52


Prof Ferguson on hospitalisations: certain that we’ll see 1,000 per day

Speaking on BBC 1’s Andrew Marr Show, Professor Neil Ferguson said: “I think it’s almost certain we’ll get to 1,000 hospitalisations per day,” as he expects cases to rise to 100,000 cases per day

“The real question is,” he said, “do we get to double that or even higher?”

“We could get to 2,000 hospitalisations a day, 200,000 cases a day, but it’s much less certain.”

He added that infections at this level would place a “significant burden” on the health system, even though vaccination has reduced the link with serious illness and death.

He said that while people who were being admitted to hospital appeared to not be as severely ill as those admitted in December and January, “if you have enough cases you can still have quite a significant burden on the healthcare system”.

The government’s most recent data on hospitalisatons show that 740 people were admitted to the hospital with Covid-19 on 13 July.

Over the week to 13 July, 4,313 people were admitted to hospital with coronavirus, an increase of nearly 40 per cent week-on-week.

At the peak of the second wave, 4,579 patients were admitted to hospital on 13 January.

Celine Wadhera18 July 2021 10:40


UK’s current wave may not peak until ‘late August, early September’

The housing secretary said that the UK’s current wave of the coronavirus pandemic may not peak until “late August, maybe even early September.”

Speaking with Trevor Phillips on Sky News, Robert Jenrick said that cases were still rising and revealed the government projection that the peak from the current wave would not be expected until later in the summer.

Cases are still rising, hospitalisations are increasing and we won’t really expect this wave of the virus to peak until late August, maybe even early September,” he said.

“There are going to be some quite challenging weeks ahead.”

This comes as the UK reported more than 50,000 new Covid infections on Friday and Saturday, and the England is set to lift remaining coronavirus restrictions on Monday, a move the housing secretary defended.

“We will all need to exercise good judgement,” he said.

“We are moving from that time when the state told you what to do, things were mandated as a matter of law, to one which had to come at some point where we trusted people, we trusted businesses and organisations, and gave them the information they needed to make good judgments.”

Celine Wadhera18 July 2021 10:20


Neil Ferguson warns that Covid cases could hit 200,000 per day

Speaking on the Andrew Marr Show, Professor Neil Ferguson said that the expectations of reaching 100,000 new daily Covid infections was a certainty, adding that cases could even hit 200,000.

Prof Ferguson said that “success” would be defined as reaching a peak of the third wave at a little over 100,000 cases before infections start to decline.

Celine Wadhera18 July 2021 10:01


Long Covid might strike half a million people

Around half a million people can be expected to develop long Covid during the current wave of coronavirus, epidemiologist Neil Ferguson has warned.

Political editor Andrew Woodcock reports.

Celine Wadhera18 July 2021 09:58


Deputy Labour leader responds to Johnson and Sunak’s “contact testing pilot program”

Angela Rayner, Labour’s deputy leader took to Twitter to respond to the news that prime minister Boris Johnson and chancellor Rishi Sunak would not be self-isolating after being alerted by NHS Test and Trace that they had been close contacts of Covid-positive Sajid Javid.

She tweeted: “Sorry for the unparliamentary language but this just takes the pi**.

“Not following the rules that they created and which they expect my constituents to follow. This govnt treat the public with contempt and think they are above the law and that the rules don’t apply to them.”

Celine Wadhera18 July 2021 09:38


Shadow health secretary: many will be dismayed by prime minister’s ‘VIP system’

Speaking on Sky News, shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said that many people across the UK would be dismayed by the prime minister’s “VIP system” that will allow Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak not to self-isolate, despite recent close contact with Covid-positive Sajid Javid.

He said: “There will be parents across the country who have struggled this year when their children have been sent home because they were in a bubble and had to self-isolate.

“There will be workers across the country that have to self-isolate because they’ve been pinged, including in public services, including the NHS

“For many of them, waking up this morning to hear that there is a special rule, an exclusive rule for Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak, they will be saying that this looks like one rule for them and something else for the rest of us.

“Nobody understands how you can get access to this special treatment or VIP lane where you don’t have to self-isolate.”

He added: “If it is a pilot, why can’t employers apply for their workforce to be a part of the pilot, why can’t schools apply to be a part of this test pilot?”

“This is at a time when we need to maintain confidence in the isolation policies, because isolation, taking yourself away from society if you’ve been in contact with someone who’s got the virus, is one of the key ways we break transmission, and of course, we know infections are rising.”

Celine Wadhera18 July 2021 09:18


Ministers to decide ‘very soon’ on extending vaccines to teenagers, Robert Jenrick says

Ministers are expected to make a decision on extending vaccinations to teenagers aged under 18 “very soon”, housing secretary Robert Jenrick has said.

Political editor Andrew Woodcock reports.

Celine Wadhera18 July 2021 09:09