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Delta variant ‘60% more infectious’ – follow Covid news live

Biden vows US will be ‘arsenal’ of vaccines by donating 500m jabs to 100 countries

The Delta variant, which was first identified in India, is around 60 per cent more infectious than the Alpha variant first identified in the UK, new Public Health England analysis suggests.

The analysis also suggests that cases of the Delta variant have trebled in a week in the UK, from 12,431 in the week to 3 June to 42,323. The variant now makes up for more than 90 per cent of new Covid-19 cases, according to PHE.

The data comes as ministers reportedly discuss delaying lifting all remaining lockdown restrictions on 21 June by up to 4 weeks.

According to The Times, the month-long extension is being considered in order to ensure businesses can plan for their full reopening with the certainty that they won’t be hit by more delays.

The government is set to announce their decision on whether or not the final stage of the roadmap out of lockdown will be reached on 21 June on Monday.

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Opinion: The UK has put up a giant ‘closed’ sign this summer

“Restrict first. Ask questions later.” In terms of international travel, that has been the policy of many countries across the world over the past 15 months.

But as Europe emerges from what we all hope is the worst of the coronavirus pandemic, nations are easing travel restrictions as the summer peak approaches.

Continue reading our travel correspondent Simon Calder’s latest column:

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Delta variant: 42 deaths in England

By 7 June, 42 people who were confirmed as having the Delta variant of coronavirus had died within 28 days of a positive test, PHE says. Of these, 23 were unvaccinated.

Joanna Taylor11 June 2021 10:56

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Nearly 70% of Delta A&E cases are unvaccinated, PHE says

Nearly 70 per cent of people who were confirmed as having the Delta variant of coronavirus after attending an A&E in England between February and June were unvaccinated, PHE says.

The figure accounts for 67 percent of the 1,234 A&E attendees between February 1 and June 7.

Joanna Taylor11 June 2021 10:41

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Delta variant cases treble in a week, new analysis reveals

New analysis by Public Health England has found the number of Delta variant cases of coronavirus across the UK has trebled in a week.

According to the latest update PHE said there were now 42,323 cases of the variant, which first originated in India, up from 12,431 in the week to June 3.

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Delta variant now makes up 90% of Covid cases, PHE say

Over 90 per cent of new Covid-19 cases in the UK are now the Delta variant, Public Health England data suggests.

The variant, which was first identified in India, is associated with an approximately 60 per cent increased risk of transmission compared to the Alpha variant, first identified in the UK, PHE say.

The data also suggests that the Delta variant is showing a higher rate of growth: regional estimates for doubling time range from 4.5 to 11.5 days.

Joanna Taylor11 June 2021 09:58

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Over-50s to be offered second jab by 21 June

All over-50s who have had their first vaccine dose should be offered their second by 21 June, the vaccines minister has said.

Nadhim Zahawi told BBC Breakfast that this target is on track to be met, adding that there has been a “very high level of uptake” of the jabs.

He also urged people in this category who have not had either their first or second doses to do so to gain protection agains the virus and the Delta variant in particular.

Joanna Taylor11 June 2021 09:47

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G7: Public health authorities are ‘used to dealing with Covid outbreaks’ like that at Cornwall hotel

Cornwall’s public health director has said that her team is used to dealing with coronavirus outbreaks in the wake of reports that a hotel hosting G7 summit security staff in the region was closed over Covid-19 concerns.

Asked about the outbreak, Rachel Wigglesworth, director of Public Health for Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, told Sky News that “we are used to dealing with these sort of incidents across the country now”.

“Our public health teams and the expertise around them are helping to support venues where there are any outbreaks and sometimes a business has to make the decision that they operationally cannot continue to work,” she added.

The Pedn Olva hotel in St Ives closed for deep cleaning on Thursday after the outbreak was identified. Reports suggest that some of the security staff of the world leaders staying at the nearby Tregenna Castle had been staying there.

Joanna Taylor11 June 2021 09:35

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Simon Calder’s latest expert answers to 24 of your June traffic light travel questions

Could the government’s red, amber and green lists for international travel change at the next review on 24 June?

Do I have any chance of a hot French or Italian getaway this summer?

For answers to these questions and many more, here’s Simon Calder on all of your burning travel queries:

Joanna Taylor11 June 2021 09:11

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Pfizer vaccine supply will be ‘tight but stable’ in coming weeks, minister says

Britain’s supply of Pfizer vaccine will be “tight” in the next few weeks, vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi has admitted.

He stressed that that the supply is “stable” albeit “finite” after Scotland’s Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said that it will be “particularly tight” in coming weeks.

Mr Zahawi told LBC that he’s “confident” Scotland will be provided with the Pfizer vaccines it needs to be able to meet the UK’s vaccination target for the end of July.

Asked whether it’ll be tight, he said: “It will be, there is no doubt. Every time I’ve come on your show I’ve said that the determining factor in terms of vaccine in arms is supply.

“And supply remains finite, but it is stable, and Pfizer have done a great job in being consistent on their delivery schedule.”

Joanna Taylor11 June 2021 09:01

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‘Important to be careful’ when lifting restrictions, vaccines minister says

Proceeding with caution is important, vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi stressed when whether ending remaining lockdown restrictions on 21 June is likely to be delayed.

“I think it’s really important that we are really careful,” he told Times Radio, adding that “the virus hasn’t gone away”.

“There has been some really hard won battles against this virus and we don’t want to squander those hard fought gains that we have made through the vaccination programme,” he said.

“In saying that, the virus hasn’t gone away, the virus will continue to attempt to mutate, to escape, to try and survive, and I think it’s really important that we are really careful.”

Joanna Taylor11 June 2021 08:49

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