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10-day quarantine for close contacts of someone infected by Covid will stay after June 21, even if people have had both vaccination doses.

The imposition of quarantine for those who have been vaccinated could mean people delay returning to crowded events for fear of an NHS notification, the Telegraph reported.

Spain expects to be added to the green list when the next review is announced, on June 7.

Live updates

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Nadhim Zahawi : Government is taking ‘rapid action’ in Covid hotspots

Vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi told MPs that the Government was taking “rapid action” in areas with high case numbers of the Covid variant first identified in India.

He told the Commons ministers are “staying alert to new variants that can jeopardise the advances we’ve made”.

He added: “We’ve come down really hard on the variant first identified in India wherever we have found it, surging in testing capacity and vaccine for those who are eligible.

“Over the past few days we’ve extended this rapid approach to even more areas. So as well as Bolton and Blackburn and Darwen which the Prime Minister spoke about in his press conference on the 14th of this month we are taking rapid action in Bedford, Hounslow, Burnley, Leicester, Kirklees and North Tyneside.

“As the Prime Minister set out two weeks ago we’re urging people in these areas to take extra caution when meeting anyone outside their households or support bubble, including meeting outside rather than inside where possible, keeping two metres apart from people you don’t live with and that people should try to avoid travelling in and out of the affected areas unless it is essential.”

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Pupil attendance in state schools in England falls

Pupil attendance in state schools in England has fallen over the past week, Government figures show.

Around 91 per cent of state school pupils were in class on May 20, down from 92 per cent on May 12, according to the Department for Education (DfE) statistics.

Approximately 87 per cent of secondary school pupils attended last week, down from 89% on the previous week, while attendance in primary schools fell to 94 per cent last week, from 95 per cent on May 12.

The DfE estimates that around 1.0 per cent of all pupils on roll – up to 104,000 children – did not attend school for Covid-19 related reasons on May 20.

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Labour calls for mass testing and vaccines as part of Glasgow exit plan

Mass testing and pop-up vaccination clinics should be put in place in Glasgow to ensure the city can move to Level 2 with the rest of the country, Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar has said.

“I want us to recognise that we have a specific challenge in Glasgow and I don’t think it’s right that Glasgow carries on perpetual lockdown – that in itself would have a negative effect on people’s health and wellbeing”, Mr Sarwar told the PA news agency.

“I think we need urgent action – not a timid response, not inconsistency of the messaging, not an inconsistency of decision-making.

“Let’s identify those hotspot areas, let’s get mass PCR testing, door to door if necessary, let’s have pop-up clinics for the vaccine for anyone aged 18 and above whether they’ve got an appointment or not they can turn up and get their vaccination and let’s get our city open again.”

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Travel advice is ‘disproportionate’ says Redfearn

The Labour elected Mayor of North Tyneside said the travel advice was “disproportionate”.

Norma Redfearn said: “We received no consultation or communication about this advice which has implications for people across North Tyneside and the wider region.

“It is essential the Government explain what this advice means in practice.

“We have enhanced testing and extra vaccination services in place and are working hard to keep infection rates down.

“This advice is disproportionate for North Tyneside.”

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Northumberland FA seeking guidance about amateur football matches with North Tyneside

The Northumberland FA said it was seeking guidance about amateur football matches involving teams from North Tyneside.

It tweeted: “We’ve getting inquiries regarding the impact of new Government guidance relating to travel in and out of North Tyneside, on grassroots football.

“We are currently awaiting information from our local authority partners and the Government regarding this and we will update you asap.”

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Study could lead to ‘new treatments for Covid-19 and any future coronaviruses’

A “pioneering” new study may pave the way for more treatments for Covid-19 variants and fresh coronaviruses in the future, scientists have suggested.

The team of scientists – led by the Universities of Glasgow and Oxford and the Rosalind Franklin Institute – studied the key viral RNA molecule which is “at the heart” of the life cycle of viruses like SARS-CoV-2.

The findings, published in the journal Molecular Cell, showed that the viral RNA interacted with dozens of cellular proteins, many of which have “great potential for new therapeutic approaches against Covid-19”.

Dr Alfredo Castello, from the University of Glasgow’s Centre for Virus Research (CVR) said the results were “extremely exciting” and could “pave the way to identify the best potential therapeutic targets”.

He said: “With just the first available inhibitor we tested in cell models, we were able to inhibit the virus replication, so the possibility for new treatment options is positive.

“Moreover, in parallel studies we found that many of these proteins also participate in the infection of other RNA viruses, so there is potential for discovering treatments with broad-range of action and that could be ready should a new coronavirus emerge.

“As we move into the next stage of the pandemic, developing treatment options that can work against new variants is a priority.”

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Lancashire leaders to discuss new guidance

Leaders in Lancashire are due to discuss the new guidance with the Government today, a spokesman said.

The spokesman for the Lancashire Resilience Forum said: “We have raised this with Government and are having discussions later today.”

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Blackburn MP ‘strongly’ opposed to changes to Covid-19 restrictions

Blackburn MP Kate Hollern said she was “strongly” opposed to changes to coronavirus restrictions in her constituency, which she described as “lockdown-lite”.

The Labour MP tweeted: “On Friday night the Government rolled out lockdown-lite through the back door. The guidance is likely to have major implications on businesses, schools and the hospitality sector and I’m furious that the Government hasn’t bothered to consult the local authorities involved.

“I strongly oppose the Government’s attempt to introduce new measures by stealth and without consultation. Instead, the Government needs to continue to ensure it gets vaccines to where they’re needed the most.

“The Government also needs to immediately explain why it has issued new guidance and publish the risk assessment it carried out so that those areas affected can understand the impact the new guidance will have.

“If the Government continues on this path, it must be ready to provide whatever financial support necessary. That means support for Blackburn’s businesses, self-isolation support that matches furlough and support for schools.”

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Starmer demands Government provide clarity ‘fast’ over travel advice for eight England hotspots

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has demanded the Government provide clarity “fast” over the changes to advice on travel in and out of eight hotspots in England battling the Indian variant of coronavirus.

He tweeted: “Making a major change that will impact so many people without even telling them is utterly shameful. The Government needs to provide clarity, fast. Local lockdowns are the wrong approach for both public health and local economies.

“The Government is time and again failing to learn lessons. We need proper support to self-isolate, decent sick pay, a working test and trace system and the roll out of the vaccine as quickly as possible.”

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A total of 153,093 Covid-19 deaths have now occurred in the UK

A total of 153,093 deaths have now occurred in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, the ONS said.

The highest number of deaths to occur on a single day was 1,477 on January 19.

During the first wave of the virus, the daily death toll peaked at 1,461 deaths on April 8 2020.

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