Coronavirus UK news LIVE – Travel rules hit Indian variant hotspots as 1st male vaccine patient William Shakespeare dies

BRITS have been told not to travel in and out of eight Indian variant hotspots after stealth new restrictions were introduced this morning.

Ministers are warning people not to enter or leave areas where the Covid strain is spreading fastest "unless it is essential".

And those living there are also subject to tighter social distancing requirements, including only meeting up inside and working from home. Local leaders and MPs weren't even told about the changes, which were dumped on the Government website last Friday evening.

Meanwhile, the first man to receive a Covid vaccine in the world died aged 81 today.

William Shakespeare – known as Bill – received his first Pfizer jab in December, but passed away from an unrelated illness on Thursday.

It comes as the government was slammed for introducing 'stealth lockdowns' – quietly updating official websites to change rules on meeting indoors and travelling into and out of areas hit by the Indian strain.

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

  • Joseph Gamp

    WATCH: NEW COVID RULES WREAK HAVOC FOR THOUSANDS OF FAMILY GETAWAYS FOR BRITS IN 8 INDIAN VARIANT HOSTPOTS

    New Covid rules wreak havoc for thousands of family getaways for Brits in 8 Indian variant hostpots

  • Joseph Gamp

    COVID-19 DEATHS RISE SLIGHTLY AS BANK HOLIDAY SLOWS REGISTRATIONS

    Weekly registrations of deaths involving Covid-19 in England and Wales have risen slightly, new figures show – but the numbers are likely to have been affected by the early May bank holiday.

    A total of 151 deaths registered in the week ending May 14 mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

    This is up from 129 in the previous week – a rise of 17%.

    Many register offices will have been closed for the bank holiday on May 3, however.

    This is likely to have led to fewer deaths being registered in that week and slightly more deaths being registered in the following week.

  • Joseph Gamp

    MAPPED: NEW LOCAL 'LOCKDOWNS' IN ENGLAND'S INDIAN VARIANT HOTSPOTS

  • Joseph Gamp

    EXPLAINED: NEW TRAVEL GUIDANCE FOR LOCAL COVID HOTSPOTS

    The government’s updated guidance recommends that people within the eight localities shouldn’t meet up indoors or travel outside their areas unless it is for an essential matter, such as going to work.

    But council leaders and local officials representing two million people in those eight Covid hotspots in England hardest have slammed the measures.

    Incredibly, they weren’t forewarned about the changes, which were dumped on the Government website on the evening of last Friday, May 21 2021.

    There was no public announcement, and they didn’t find out until May 24, when journalists started to flag the new guidance.

  • Joseph Gamp

    GRAPH: COVID VACCINATIONS IN THE UK

  • Joseph Gamp

    BRUSSELS DELAYS DECISION ON EUROPEAN BORDER REOPENINGS

    Europe has delayed a decision on whether to let Brits back in until next month over Indian variant fears in a blow to holiday hopes.

    Brussels was due to sign off on a new borders plan today that would’ve thrown the continent open to tourists from the UK.

    But diplomatic sources said it has now been shelved for at least 10 days Member States watch the spread of the new strain.

    A Brussels source said: “Member states need a bit more time to look into developments regarding the Indian variant.

    “They want to prevent putting countries on and off the list too much.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    OPPOSITION MPs CRITICISE GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCEMENT OF LOCAL LOCKDOWNS

    Shadow Health Secretary Jon Ashworth and the SNP’s Health spokeswoman Phillipa Whitford have challenged the government over its decision to “sneak out” local lockdowns in areas heavily affected by the Indian variant.

    Ashworth challenged Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zawahi in the House of Commons, saying the government has let down people who had been planning for reopening. He asked why the Government did not do more to tell people about when the lockdown was imposed.

    Whitford accused the Government of updating the website during Eurovision on Saturday night to avoid heavy scruntiny and criticism.

  • Joseph Gamp

    UK RECORDS 15 NEW DEATHS TODAY

    The Department of Health has recorded 2,493 daily covid-19 cases and a further 15 deaths with 28 deaths of a positive test.

    This is twice the figure for this time last week when seven deaths were recorded on Tuesday 18th May.

  • Joseph Gamp

    GRAPH: UK COVID-19 CASES AND DEATHS PER DAY

  • Joseph Gamp

    DOWN TO YOU

    Local leaders today effectively told residents to IGNORE the new Government advice for variant hotspots – and blasted ministers for sowing mass confusion.

    Leicester Council urged people to continue following the national guidance while the boss of Bolton Council said their situation hadn’t changed either.

    Last night it was revealed the Government had quietly changed its guidance to warn against entering or leaving eight areas where the mutation is rife.

    It applies to Bedford, Blackburn, Bolton, Burley, Kirklees, Leicester, Hounslow and North Tyneside.

    The change in the advice has sparked a day of chaos about whether residents must follow new rules, with MPs railing against local lockdowns in all but name.

  • Joseph Gamp

    CROWD PILOT EVENT ATTENDEES BRING JUST 15 CASES OF COVID-19

    Pilot events involving 58,000 people have resulted in just 15 positive cases of Covid-19, according to the Culture Secretary.

    Oliver Dowden hailed the UK’s Covid test events which included a reduced-capacity FA Cup semi-final at Wembley Stadium and a nightclub opening in Liverpool, as a “real success”.

    In an interview with the Evening Standard, Mr Dowden said he hopes that by June 21 stadiums will be full and the lights will be back on in the West End.

    He told the newspaper he is “very hopeful” that theatres will be allowed to sell all seats instead of keeping some empty.

    The Brit Awards on May 11 took place as part of the Government’s live events pilot scheme and was the first large-scale indoor music event of the year.

  • Joseph Gamp

    SPAIN EXPECTS TO BE ADDED TO GREEN LIST ON JUNE 7 AS BRITS ARRIVE AFTER THE COUNTRY LIFTED TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS

    Spain expects to be added to green list on June 7 as Brits arrive after the country lifted travel restrictions

  • Joseph Gamp

    EU LEADERS TO DONATE 100 MILLION DOSES OF VACCINES

    EU leaders have agreed to donate at least 100 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines to poorer nations by the end of the year as supplies steadily rise across Europe.

    Gathered in Brussels for a two-day summit, on Tuesday the 27 leaders backed a text in which they pledged to continue efforts “to increase global vaccine production capacities in order to meet global needs”.

    Leaders also called “for work to be stepped up to ensure global equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines” and reiterated their support for the UN-backed COVAX programme.

    COVAX aims to ensure equitable access to Covid-19 jabs for low-and middle-income countries.

    The programme suffered a major setback last week when its biggest supplier, the Serum Institute of India, announced it would likely not export any more vaccines until the end of the year due to the crisis on the subcontinent.

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    WHAT ARE THE TRAVEL RULES FOR THE LOCAL COVID HOTSPOTS?

    The government's updated guidance recommends that people within the eight localities shouldn't meet up indoors or travel outside their areas unless it is for an essential matter, such as going to work.

    But council leaders and local officials representing two million people in those eight Covid hotspots in England hardest have slammed the measures.

    Incredibly, they weren't forewarned about the changes, which were dumped on the Government website on the evening of last Friday, May 21 2021.

    There was no public announcement, and they didn't find out until May 24, when journalists started to flag the new guidance.

  • [email protected]esun.co.uk

    EU LEADERS TO DONATE 100 MILLION DOSES OF VACCINES

    EU leaders have agreed to donate at least 100 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines to poorer nations by the end of the year as supplies steadily rise across Europe.

    Gathered in Brussels for a two-day summit, on Tuesday the 27 leaders backed a text in which they pledged to continue efforts “to increase global vaccine production capacities in order to meet global needs”.

    Leaders also called “for work to be stepped up to ensure global equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines” and reiterated their support for the UN-backed COVAX programme.

    COVAX aims to ensure equitable access to Covid-19 jabs for low-and middle-income countries.

    The programme suffered a major setback last week when its biggest supplier, the Serum Institute of India, announced it would likely not export any more vaccines until the end of the year due to the crisis on the subcontinent.

  • [email protected]

    HOT THAT THOUGHT

    Europe has delayed a decision on whether to let Brits back in until next month over Indian variant fears in a blow to holiday hopes.

    Brussels was due to sign off on a new borders plan today that would've thrown the continent open to tourists from the UK.

    But diplomatic sources said it has now been shelved for at least 10 days Member States watch the spread of the new strain.

    A Brussels source said: "Member states need a bit more time to look into developments regarding the Indian variant.

    “They want to prevent putting countries on and off the list too much."

  • [email protected]

    OPPOSITION MPs CRITICISE GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCEMENT OF LOCAL LOCKDOWNS

    Shadow Health Secretary Jon Ashworth and the SNP’s Health spokeswoman Phillipa Whitford have challenged the government over its decision to “sneak out” local lockdowns in areas heavily affected by the Indian variant.

    Ashworth challenged Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zawahi in the House of Commons, saying the government has let down people who had been planning for reopening. He asked why the Government did not do more to tell people about when the lockdown was imposed.

    Whitford accused the Government of updating the website during Eurovision on Saturday night to avoid heavy scruntiny and criticism.

  • [email protected]

    UPDATED UK DEATH TOLL

    The Department of Health has recorded 2,493 daily covid-19 cases and a further 15 deaths with 28 deaths of a positive test.

    This is twice the figure for this time last week when seven deaths were recorded on Tuesday 18th May.

  • [email protected]

    VACC TO THE START

    Fully vaccinated Brits will reportedly still need to self-isolate if they come into contact with people infected with Covid – even after lockdown ends on June 21.

    Plans for 10-day quarantines for those who are exposed to the bug after getting both jabs will impact plans for a return to normality next month.

    Brits could be put off from going to crowded places if there’s a risk they will have to self-isolate.

    Employers may also be reluctant for vaccinated and unvaccinated workers to mix together for the same reason.

    Fully vaccinated people in the United States only need to quarantine if they show symptoms after coming into contact with someone who has Covid.

  • [email protected]

    DOWN TO YOU

    Local leaders today effectively told residents to IGNORE the new Government advice for variant hotspots – and blasted ministers for sowing mass confusion.

    Leicester Council urged people to continue following the national guidance while the boss of Bolton Council said their situation hadn't changed either.

    Last night it was revealed the Government had quietly changed its guidance to warn against entering or leaving eight areas where the mutation is rife.

    It applies to Bedford, Blackburn, Bolton, Burley, Kirklees, Leicester, Hounslow and North Tyneside.

    The change in the advice has sparked a day of chaos about whether residents must follow new rules, with MPs railing against local lockdowns in all but name.

  • [email protected]

    CROWD PILOT EVENTS ‘A REAL SUCCESS’ AS JUST 15 CASES OF COVID-19 REPORTED

    Pilot events involving 58,000 people have resulted in just 15 positive cases of Covid-19, according to the Culture Secretary.

    Oliver Dowden hailed the UK’s Covid test events which included a reduced-capacity FA Cup semi-final at Wembley Stadium and a nightclub opening in Liverpool, as a “real success”.

    In an interview with the Evening Standard, Mr Dowden said he hopes that by June 21 stadiums will be full and the lights will be back on in the West End.

    He told the newspaper he is “very hopeful” that theatres will be allowed to sell all seats instead of keeping some empty.

    The Brit Awards on May 11 took place as part of the Government’s live events pilot scheme and was the first large-scale indoor music event of the year.

  • [email protected]

    EU LEADERS TO DONATE 100 MILLION DOSES OF VACCINES

    EU leaders have agreed to donate at least 100 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines to poorer nations by the end of the year as supplies steadily rise across Europe.

    Gathered in Brussels for a two-day summit, on Tuesday the 27 leaders backed a text in which they pledged to continue efforts “to increase global vaccine production capacities in order to meet global needs”.

    Leaders also called “for work to be stepped up to ensure global equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines” and reiterated their support for the UN-backed COVAX programme.

    COVAX aims to ensure equitable access to Covid-19 jabs for low-and middle-income countries.

    The programme suffered a major setback last week when its biggest supplier, the Serum Institute of India, announced it would likely not export any more vaccines until the end of the year due to the crisis on the subcontinent.

  • [email protected]

    WATCH: MINISTER DENIES LOCAL TRAVEL ADVICE 'CAME OUT OF THE BLUE'

    Minister denies warning to avoid non-essential travel to and from areas of England worst affected by Indian COVID variant ‘out of the blue’

  • [email protected]

    OPPOSITION MPs CRITICISE GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCEMENT OF LOCAL LOCKDOWNS

    Shadow Health Secretary Jon Ashworth and the SNP’s Health spokeswoman Phillipa Whitford have challenged the government over its decision to “sneak out” local lockdowns in areas heavily affected by the Indian variant.

    Ashworth challenged Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zawahi in the House of Commons, saying the government has let down people who had been planning for reopening. He asked why the Government did not do more to tell people about when the lockdown was imposed.

    Whitford accused the Government of updating the website during Eurovision on Saturday night to avoid heavy scrutiny and criticism.

  • [email protected]

    SCOTLAND RECORDS TWO NEW DEATHS

    Scotland has recorded two coronavirus patient deaths and 318 new cases in the past 24 hours, Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

    It means the death toll under this daily measure – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – is 7,666.

    The First Minister told a Scottish Government coronavirus briefing the daily test positivity rate was 2%, down from 2.8% the previous day.

    She said 97 people are in hospital with recently confirmed Covid-19, up three on the previous day. Of these, six were in intensive care, up one.

    More than five million vaccine doses have now been administered in Scotland, with 3,138,366 first doses and 1,881,214 second doses.

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