Covid UK news LIVE – Chris Whitty 'assault' video investigated by police after 'yobbos' grab him in the street

SAJID Javid confirmed England WON'T unlock early on July 5 – as he urged Brits to hang on three more weeks for Freedom Day.

Making his first appearance in the Commons on Monday, the new Health Secretary said the Government will look to scrap the majority of restrictions on July 19.

The new Health Secretary ripped up the doomster handbook left by disgraced predecessor Matt Hancock, saying it was his “immediate priority” to end the restrictions.

The former Chancellor ripped up cushy consultancy jobs worth over £300,000 a year to become the people’s freedom fighter.

The business champion turned healthcare chief is well aware of the crippling effect of the pandemic restrictions on the nation’s economy.

Read our Coronavirus blog below for the latest news and updates...

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    GRAPHIC: COVID-19 CASES AND DEATHS PER DAY

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    COVID-19 ANTIBODY LEVELS VARY ACCORDING TO VACCINE AND PAST INFECTION – STUDY

    Two doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine induces lower levels of antibodies against the variant first detected in India than against other strains, new research suggests.

    The laboratory findings from the Francis Crick Institute and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) UCLH Biomedical Research Centre compared the results to their findings in relation to the Pfizer/BioNTech jab.

    The data suggests that both vaccines induce lower levels of antibodies targeting the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant.

    Researchers found that two doses of the Oxford jab generate antibody levels that are 2.5 times lower against the Delta variant than the Pfizer vaccine.

    While antibody levels alone do not predict vaccine effectiveness, the study confirms that two doses of either vaccine are essential to boost antibodies to levels that are likely to maximise the amount of protection against severe disease and hospital admission.

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    MIX SUCCESS

    A mix-and-match approach to vaccines could be used in the future to give a even better protection against Covid-19, a study has found.

    Using different brands of jab for first and second doses could "give greater flexibility for a booster programme", according to experts.

    The Com-Cov trial studied the efficacy of either two doses of Pfizer, two of AstraZeneca or one of them followed by the other.

    All of the combinations worked well and were found to prime the immune system.

    The trial also hinted that people who have already had two doses could have a stronger immune response if they were given a different jab as a booster later in the year.

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    'ZERO TOLERANCE'

    The "disgusting yobs" filmed grabbing Chris Whitty "must be found and charged" over their "appalling behaviour", ministers have blasted.

    They were speaking after the yobs filmed themselves putting England's chief medical officer in a headlock and pushed in London's St James Park.

    In the footage, the two yobs can be seen approaching the top medic – who has been heralded for his sensible approach to guiding the UK through the pandemic – before suddenly grabbing him around his shoulders in London.

    The upsetting footage shows the professor's face turn red with the effort of trying to free himself from their clutches.

    The new Health Secretary Sajid Javid branded the incident "appalling and totally unacceptable".

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    MATT HANCOCK WON’T TAKE £16,000 SEVERANCE PAY OUT AFTER QUITTING IN DISGRACE OVER AIDE AFFAIR

    Matt Hancock will reportedly NOT accept £16,000 in severance pay after quitting in disgrace over his fling with Gina Coladangelo.

    The Health Secretary, 42, resigned amid mounting pressure over images of him kissing and cuddling the aide in breach of Covid restrictions.

    And despite admitting he had “let down” millions who had made painful sacrifices during the pandemic he is, in theory, eligible for thousands of pounds.

    However, the Daily Telegraph understands Mr Hancock will not take the severance payments.

    Any decisions to take severance pay outs are published in annual parliamentary accounts – so the actual answer may not be known until next summer.

    Read more here.

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    GRANT SHAPPS SAYS QUARANTINE FREE TRAVEL FOR BRITS WITH TWO JABS WON’T BE READY FOR FREEDOM DAY

    Travel to amber countries won’t be relaxed for double-jabbed Brits in time for Freedom Day on July 19, Grant Shapps admitted today.

    With holiday hopes taking a blow, a blow the Transport Secretary said it will be “complicated” to exempt the fully vaccinated from quarantine.

    When asked about that prospect today, Mr Shapps replied: “It’s unfortunately more complicated than that.

    “One of the very big areas is what do you do if children are not going to be getting vaccinations?

    “So we’ll probably focus in phase one on UK people who’ve been double vaccinated, and what that means for their travel into other areas.

  • Joseph Gamp

    CHILDREN'S COMMISSIONER CALLS FOR AN END TO SCHOOL BUBBLES

    Bubble arrangements and self-isolation for school pupils should end as soon as possible, the new Children's Commissioner for England has said.

    Dame Rachel de Souza said there was an urgent need for children to get back to normal as lockdown restrictions had been a "real trauma" for many young people.

    Her call came as The Guardian reported ministers are preparing to overhaul the system for schools in England when they return in September following the summer break.

    The paper said an announcement may be made in the coming days to allow schools time to prepare, with the requirement to quarantine expected to be replaced with a new testing regime.

    Currently children have to self-isolate for 10 days if another pupil in their bubble tests positive for coronavirus.

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    CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC PUSHING YOUNG CARERS FURTHER INTO POVERTY, SAYS REPORT

    The coronavirus pandemic has pushed young carers in Scotland further into poverty, according to a new report.

    Research by the University of the West of Scotland (UWS)-Oxfam Partnership found young carers and their families' financial difficulties have been exacerbated since the outbreak began.

    About half of those surveyed (14 of the 30 young carers) said they were left with no choice but to use foodbanks within the last year.

    Lou, a 14-year-old young carer who took part in the study, said: "Sometimes we have no money to do the weekly food shopping, so you have to spend differently – you can't get all the stuff that you want. We always have to be careful with what we spend."

    The report is based on interviews and a qualitative survey with young people aged 13-17 who help to look after a family member at home.

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    UPGRADING PPE FOR STAFF ON COVID WARDS 'DRAMATICALLY CUT INFECTIONS'

    An NHS hospital which upgraded the type of face masks used by staff on Covid-19 wards saw a dramatic fall in hospital-acquired coronavirus infections among those workers, by up to 100%, research has indicated.

    Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge upgraded the masks used by staff on Covid-19 wards from fluid resistant surgical masks (FRSMs) to filtering face piece 3 (FFP3) respirators, with the change made in late December in response to its own staff testing data.

    The UK Infection Prevention Control (IPC) cell had, until recently, recommended that healthcare workers caring for Covid-19 patients should use FRSMs as respiratory protective equipment.

    The IPC cell recommended that an FFP3 respirator should be used if an aerosol-generating procedure were being carried out, such as inserting a breathing tube into the patient's windpipe.

    Guidance has recently been updated to oblige NHS organisations to assess the risk that Covid-19 poses to staff and provide FFP3 respirators where appropriate

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    GRAPH: COVID VACCINATIONS IN THE UK

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    GRANT SHAPPS SAYS QUARANTINE FREE TRAVEL FOR BRITS WITH TWO JABS WON’T BE READY FOR FREEDOM DAY

    Travel to amber countries won’t be relaxed for double-jabbed Brits in time for Freedom Day on July 19, Grant Shapps admitted today.

    With holiday hopes taking a blow, a blow the Transport Secretary said it will be “complicated” to exempt the fully vaccinated from quarantine.

    When asked about that prospect today, Mr Shapps replied: “It’s unfortunately more complicated than that.

    “One of the very big areas is what do you do if children are not going to be getting vaccinations?

    “So we’ll probably focus in phase one on UK people who’ve been double vaccinated, and what that means for their travel into other areas.

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    COVID CASES RISE BY 70% IN A WEEK IN BIGGEST DAILY SURGE SINCE JANUARY WITH 22,868 NEW INFECTIONS

    Covid cases rise by 70% in a week in biggest daily surge since January with 22,868 new infections

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    MEXICO REPORTS 1,661 NEW CASES OF COVID-19, 44 MORE DEATHS

    Mexico’s health ministry on Monday reported 1,661 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country and 44 more fatalities, bringing its total to 2,507,453 infections and 232,608 deaths.

    The government has said the real number of cases is likely significantly higher, and separate data suggested the actual death toll is at least 60% above the confirmed figure.

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    KEYWORKERS AND ‘INSPIRATIONAL INDIVIDUALS’ GIVEN STANDING OVATION AT WIMBLEDON

    Medical staff and other “inspirational individuals” who have been invited to the Royal Box on the first day of this year’s Wimbledon were given a standing ovation before the first match on Centre Court.

    Guests included Hannah Ingram-Moore, daughter of veteran fundraiser Captain Sir Tom Moore, who raised over £32 million for the NHS, as well as designers of the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine.

    Announcers paid tribute to the “important work” done by keyworkers before the first game on Centre Court which saw defending champion Novak Djokovic beat 19-year-old Jack Draper from the UK in four sets.

    Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert, who co-designed the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, also attended the Royal Box, and she and her colleagues were applauded and cheered by other match-goers.

    Tributes were also paid after the match, led by the Prime Minister and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

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    BRAZIL REGISTERS 27,804 NEW CORONAVIRUS CASES, 618 DEATHS

    Brazil registered 27,804 new cases of coronavirus and 618 new COVID-19 deaths in the last 24 hours, the Health Ministry said on Monday.

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    MATCHES CANCELLED AS RAIN HAMPERS FIRST DAY AT WIMBLEDON

    The two-year wait for tennis at Wimbledon ended but the bad weather on Monday saw a number of matches cancelled, which included British number one Dan Evans.

    Fans were back at the All England Club for the first time since 2019 after last year’s tournament did not take place due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    Play was due to start on the outside courts at 11am but more rain prompted organisers to push it back until the afternoon with several matches eventually moved to day two.

    Aryna Sabalenka claimed the first win of the Championships with a 6-1 6-4 triumph over Monica Niculescu on Court One but not long after her victory 16 first-round ties were cancelled.

    Evans, seeded 22, will have to wait before he can face Feliciano Lopez while fellow British player Harriet Dart saw her Court-18 battle with Elise Mertens rearranged.

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    GRANT SHAPPS SAYS QUARANTINE FREE TRAVEL FOR BRITS WITH TWO JABS WON’T BE READY FOR FREEDOM DAY

    Travel to amber countries won’t be relaxed for double-jabbed Brits in time for Freedom Day on July 19, Grant Shapps admitted today.

    With holiday hopes taking a blow, a blow the Transport Secretary said it will be “complicated” to exempt the fully vaccinated from quarantine.

    When asked about that prospect today, Mr Shapps replied: “It’s unfortunately more complicated than that.

    “One of the very big areas is what do you do if children are not going to be getting vaccinations?

    “So we’ll probably focus in phase one on UK people who’ve been double vaccinated, and what that means for their travel into other areas.

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    GRAPHIC: COVID-19 CASES AND DEATHS PER DAY

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    CLASS RETHINK 

    DRACONIAN measures which mean entire school classes have to isolate if one child gets Covid-19 could be ditched, Sajid Javid hinted last night.

    The new Health Secretary has ordered officials to look again at the policy in a bid to keep millions in school.

    Read more here.

  • Joseph Gamp

    COVID-19 ANTIBODY LEVELS VARY ACCORDING TO VACCINE AND PAST INFECTION – STUDY

    Two doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine induces lower levels of antibodies against the variant first detected in India than against other strains, new research suggests.

    The laboratory findings from the Francis Crick Institute and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) UCLH Biomedical Research Centre compared the results to their findings in relation to the Pfizer/BioNTech jab.

    The data suggests that both vaccines induce lower levels of antibodies targeting the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant.

    Researchers found that two doses of the Oxford jab generate antibody levels that are 2.5 times lower against the Delta variant than the Pfizer vaccine.

    While antibody levels alone do not predict vaccine effectiveness, the study confirms that two doses of either vaccine are essential to boost antibodies to levels that are likely to maximise the amount of protection against severe disease and hospital admission.

  • Joseph Gamp

    CHILDREN'S COMMISSIONER CALLS FOR AN END TO SCHOOL BUBBLES

    Bubble arrangements and self-isolation for school pupils should end as soon as possible, the new Children's Commissioner for England has said.

    Dame Rachel de Souza said there was an urgent need for children to get back to normal as lockdown restrictions had been a "real trauma" for many young people.

    Her call came as The Guardian reported ministers are preparing to overhaul the system for schools in England when they return in September following the summer break.

    The paper said an announcement may be made in the coming days to allow schools time to prepare, with the requirement to quarantine expected to be replaced with a new testing regime.

    Currently children have to self-isolate for 10 days if another pupil in their bubble tests positive for coronavirus.

  • Joseph Gamp

    COVID-19 ANTIBODY LEVELS VARY ACCORDING TO VACCINE AND PAST INFECTION – STUDY

    Two doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine induces lower levels of antibodies against the variant first detected in India than against other strains, new research suggests.

    The laboratory findings from the Francis Crick Institute and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) UCLH Biomedical Research Centre compared the results to their findings in relation to the Pfizer/BioNTech jab.

    The data suggests that both vaccines induce lower levels of antibodies targeting the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant.

    Researchers found that two doses of the Oxford jab generate antibody levels that are 2.5 times lower against the Delta variant than the Pfizer vaccine.

    While antibody levels alone do not predict vaccine effectiveness, the study confirms that two doses of either vaccine are essential to boost antibodies to levels that are likely to maximise the amount of protection against severe disease and hospital admission.

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    BIG TASK AHEAD SAYS SAJID JAVID DURING COMMONS ADDRESS

    Health Secretary Sajid Javid, making his first Commons appearance in his new role, told MPs: “There remains a big task ahead of us to restore our freedoms – freedoms that, save for the greatest of circumstances, no government should ever wish to curtail.

    “So my task is to help return the economic and cultural life that makes this country so great while of course protecting life and our NHS.”

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    GRANT SHAPPS SAYS QUARANTINE FREE TRAVEL FOR BRITS WITH TWO JABS WON’T BE READY FOR FREEDOM DAY

    Travel to amber countries won’t be relaxed for double-jabbed Brits in time for Freedom Day on July 19, Grant Shapps admitted today.

    With holiday hopes taking a blow, a blow the Transport Secretary said it will be “complicated” to exempt the fully vaccinated from quarantine.

    When asked about that prospect today, Mr Shapps replied: “It’s unfortunately more complicated than that.

    “One of the very big areas is what do you do if children are not going to be getting vaccinations?

    “So we’ll probably focus in phase one on UK people who’ve been double vaccinated, and what that means for their travel into other areas.

  • Joseph Gamp

    GRANT SHAPPS SAYS QUARANTINE FREE TRAVEL FOR BRITS WITH TWO JABS WON’T BE READY FOR FREEDOM DAY

    Travel to amber countries won’t be relaxed for double-jabbed Brits in time for Freedom Day on July 19, Grant Shapps admitted today.

    With holiday hopes taking a blow, a blow the Transport Secretary said it will be “complicated” to exempt the fully vaccinated from quarantine.

    When asked about that prospect today, Mr Shapps replied: “It’s unfortunately more complicated than that.

    “One of the very big areas is what do you do if children are not going to be getting vaccinations?

    “So we’ll probably focus in phase one on UK people who’ve been double vaccinated, and what that means for their travel into other areas.

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