2 candidates knocked out of UK Conservative leadership race
Two candidates were knocked out of the race to replace U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday, leaving six lawmakers battling to lead the Conservative Party and the country. Former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Treasury chief Nadhim Zahawi failed to reach the threshold of 30 votes by Conservative lawmakers needed to stay in the contest. The remaining contenders will now scramble to scoop up the two men's supporters in a contest that will replace the flamboyant, scandal-ridden Johnson — a figure famous in Britain and around the world — with a new and much lesser-known prime minister.news.yahoo.com
British govt rushing tests to schools so classes can reopen
Schoolchildren have returned to classes in parts of Europe, while the British government is pledging to rush ventilation units and enough COVID-19 test kits to schools to ensure they, too, can reopen later this week despite soaring infection rates in the UK.
Vaccine booster shots for 32m to begin next month
Booster vaccines are to be offered to 32million Britons starting early next month with up to 2,000 pharmacies set to deliver the programme, The Telegraph can disclose. Amid fears that the efficacy of the vaccines may begin to decline, ministers are planning to deliver an average of almost 2.5million third doses a week starting in the first week of September. Pharmacies will be at the forefront of the vaccine programme so that GPs and other NHS staff can focus on the growing backlog of patients wnews.yahoo.com
Tory MPs threaten conference boycott if they have to use vaccine passports
A growing number of Conservative MPs are threatening to boycott this year’s party conference if they are forced to have vaccine passports as a condition of entry. Lockdown-sceptic Tories are incensed at suggestions that only people who are double jabbed with a Covid vaccine will be allowed into the gathering in Manchester in October. The news came as Cabinet ministers said there had been a big increase in over-18s coming forward for jabs after Boris Johnson threatened to make them a condition ofnews.yahoo.com
Longer wait for second Pfizer vaccine dose ‘gives more robust protection from Covid’
People who wait longer to get the second dose of their Pfizer vaccine mount a more robust immune response for long-term protection from Covid than those who bring their second jab forward, a major study has found. The second dose of a Covid jab can be administered at any point three weeks after the first, and the Government now aims to get all second jabs within eight weeks of the first. A study funded by the Department of Health and led by the University of Oxford has found a longer interval lenews.yahoo.com
Britons‘expected’ to work from home and wear masks after July 19
The public will still be “expected” to wear masks and urged to work from home after July 19, ministers and officials said on Sunday, as MPs warned Freedom Day risked being “watered down”. On Monday afternoon, Boris Johnson is set to confirm at a Number 10 press conference that step four in his roadmap out of restrictions will go ahead, as planned, next Monday. It will mark the end of all legal Covid regulations, but concerns have arisen that government messaging will curb people’s ability to taknews.yahoo.com
Fully vaccinated adults could take Covid tests for five days instead of isolating
Proposals to allow fully vaccinated adults to take Covid tests for five days instead of isolating are under consideration by ministers, amid warnings that life this summer will be “massively disrupted” by the current rules. On Sunday, Nadhim Zahawi, the vaccines minister, signalled that the current requirement for the double jabbed to remain at home for 10 days after being “pinged” by the NHS app needs to be looked at afresh. He stressed that the app had initially been “developed and operationalnews.yahoo.com
Coronavirus latest news: Keep restrictions in place 'for a few more weeks', PM urged by public health expert
UK to give 100m Covid vaccines to other countries as part of G7 push Global Britain is ‘shut for business’, warns Theresa May Face masks should continue forever, says Sage scientist Hospital Covid admissions well below the lockdown modelling predictions Cornwall hotel shuts amid Covid outbreak ahead of G7 summit Boris Johnson has been urged by a public health expert to keep restrictions in place "for a few more weeks" to "stop us going backwards" into another lockdown. Jim McManus, the vice-presnews.yahoo.com
Ministers race to offer all over-50s a second vaccination before June 21
Ministers are in a race to offer all over-50s a second coronavirus vaccine dose before the planned end of restrictions on June 21, the vaccines minister has said. Nadhim Zahawi said the Government was aiming to offer full protection to older people before the planned "unlocking" amid concern that the Indian variant could throw the roadmap off course. The delivery of second doses to over-50s had already been accelerated after a Public Health England (PHE) study showed that both Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines are much less effective against the Indian variant after a single dose. Speaking on the Andrew Marr show, Mr Zahawi said the UK was "in a race" to get people vaccinated but the Government "hopes to be able to protect all over-50s with two doses before 21 June", due to be the next and final step in England's lifting of lockdown. However, he later warned: “I could do with more supply” in order to “protect more people more rapidly”. According to NHS data, less than half of those aged between 50 and 59 in England have already been vaccinated with both doses, although the figure rises to 90 per cent of those above the age of 70. Scientists have warned that in Israel, where the vaccination rate has led the world, restrictions did not begin to fully lift until 70 per cent of the population was double jabbed. In England, around 46 per cent of adults have received both doses.news.yahoo.com
Coronavirus latest news: British spies say Wuhan lab leak is 'feasible'
NHS staff to face compulsory coronavirus vaccination Hancock facing fresh questions over Covid in care homes Vaccine clot patients 'closely monitored' as they may remain at risk Comment: No reason new variants should prevent us from reopening Heathrow chief: Reveal future green list to avoid soaring prices The Vaccines Minister has insisted that the World Health Organization must be able to fully investigate the origins of the pandemic, following reports that British agents believe it is "feasible" that the coronavirus emerged after a laboratory leak. Speaking to Sky News, Nadhim Zahawi said it's vital that the WHO is "allowed to conduct its investigation unencumbered" as it seeks to better understand how the initial outbreak began, adding that "we should leave no stone unturned". There has been renewed interest in how the pandemic began this week, after President Joe Biden asked US intelligence agencies to re-investigate the origins and report back in 90 days. Facebook also said it will no longer ban posts claiming Covid-19 was man made. According to a Sunday Times report, Western intelligence - including Britain - at first considered there was only a “remote” chance that it had leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where research is conducted into bat-derived coronaviruses. But there has since been a reassessment, and a lab escape is thought “feasible”, sources revealed. Yet, amid mounting tensions between China and the West, the WHO's director of emergencies, Dr Mike Ryan, warned on Friday that efforts to better understand how the virus emerged are "being poisoned by politics". "We would like for everyone out there to separate, if they can, the politics of this issue from the science," he told a press conference. Follow the latest updates below.news.yahoo.com
UK accused of reintroducing virus restrictions on the sly
The British government faced accusations Tuesday that it was introducing local lockdowns on the sly after it published new guidelines for eight areas of England that it says are hot spots for the coronavirus variant first identified in India. Lawmakers and local public health officials have said they hadn't been made aware of the changes to travel and social interaction that the Conservative government published online last Friday. Blackburn’s director of public health Professor Dominic Harrison said in a tweet that local authority areas affected were “not consulted with, warned of, notified about, or alerted” to the instruction changes.news.yahoo.com
U.K. sends navy ships to British island Jersey amid post-Brexit fishing dispute with France
The United Kingdom's government announced Wednesday it has deployed two Royal Navy patrol vessels to the island of Jersey "as a precautionary measure," as tensions over fishing rights escalate with France.Why it matters: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement the government took the action to protect Jersey against potential threats of "a blockade" of French fishing boats at the island, which is off the coast of northwest France.Get market news worthy of your time with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free.French officials on Tuesday threatened "retaliation measures" including cutting off electricity to the self-governing dependency of the British crown over the dispute — which is driven by claims the U.K. government breached a fishing licenses agreement reached in the Brexit deal.Of note: Jersey gets 95% of its electricity from France via underwater cables.Flashback: The issue of fishing territory was a major sticking point during Brexit negotiations.More from Axios: Sign up to get the latest market trends with Axios Markets. Subscribe for freenews.yahoo.com
Coronavirus latest news: Roadmap can't be safely accelerated despite vaccine success, says minister
‘Incredibly safe for two people to meet freely’ after vaccination Latest findings on vaccine rollout put Government’s lockdown modelling to shame Seven in 10 adults have Covid antibodies as herd immunity moves closer Spain warns it will only welcome UK tourists back if Britain reciprocates Why India's Covid crisis could blight the global recovery Subscribe to The Telegraph for a month-long free trial The roadmap to lifting the lockdown restrictions in the UK cannot be safely accelerated despite the success of the vaccine rollout, a minister has said. Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said that while one in four adults had two doses, "we have to be careful". He told Sky News: "If the vaccines have 85% efficacy and we vaccinate fully 85% of the adult population, that is still only 72% protection - that is quite a sizeable percentage for the virus to go after and infect, which is why we have to be careful. The good news is we're not seeing any evidence that would lead us to believe we can't meet the next step in May and, ultimately, June 21. "It is much better to be careful and follow the data and collect the data properly, analyse and then make a decision rather than - we all want obviously to get our freedoms back as quickly as possible but let us do this properly and let's do it safely." On whether restrictions could be lifted as per the road map, Mr Zahawi said: "The data is looking good and positive but nevertheless we really have to be careful because what we don't want is mutations, for example, to blindside us and then have another spike." Follow the latest updates below.news.yahoo.com
Drugmakers working on vaccine upgrades as 4,000 COVID variants circulate, U.K. official says
Vaccine Deployment Minister Nadhim Zahawi told Britain's Sky News it was "very unlikely" the vaccines wouldn't be effective against the new strains, "especially when it comes to severe illness and hospitalization." Scientists say there are no changes in how the vast majority of the mutated versions of the virus affect people or how easily they're transmitted. However, a few — including variants first detected in the U.K., South Africa and Brazil — have been deemed more infectious. "We're very much aiming to try and have something ready by the autumn, so this year." The first data from real-world tracking of vaccination programs in places where the variants are prevalent is expected in the next couple weeks.cbsnews.com
UK eyes traveler quarantine as virus toll passes 100,000
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson reacts while leading a virtual press conference on the Covid-19 pandemic, inside 10 Downing Street in central London Tuesday Jan. 26, 2021. The government said 100,162 people have died in the pandemic after testing positive for the virus, including 1,631 new deaths reported Tuesday. U.K. statistics agencies say that the number of deaths registered that mention COVID-19 on the death certificate is more than 108,000. British authorities are banking on a successful vaccination program to help the country suppress the outbreak and ease the lockdown. People arriving in the U.K. from abroad also must show they have tested negative for COVID-19.
UK appoints vaccines minister to oversee COVID inoculations
(Adrian Dennis/Pool via AP)LONDON – The British government appointed a vaccines minister on Saturday as it prepares to inoculate millions of people against the coronavirus, potentially starting within days. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Conservative lawmaker Nadhim Zahawi will oversee the country’s biggest vaccine program in decades. Britain has ordered 40 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, enough for 20 million people, and 100 million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. Decisions about which, if any, vaccines to authorize will be made by the independent Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency. Bur Cabinet minister Michael Gove said the restrictions were “grimly” necessary to avoid the health system being overwhelmed this winter.