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Here's a recap of today's top news:
Data from Public Health England estimates that Covid-19 vaccinations prevented 22 million infections and 60,000 deaths
A record 1.3 million people in England and Wales were told to self-isolate in the past week
France called the UK's quarantine rules discriminatory and excessive, as the Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab confirmed the decision to place France on the amber plus list was due to Beta variant concerns on the island of La Reunion in the Indian Ocean
The Oxford/AstraZeneca jab hit the milestone of having distributed one billion doses around the world; with the globe as a whole hitting its own milestone of four billion jabs administered
Pakistan will ban all unvaccinated people from air travel
Israel will offer a third booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine to over-60s
'We have to get on with life' despite new variants, expert says
Professor Tim Spector of Kings College London told Sky News that the Government's decision to end quarantine requirements for fully-vaccinated travellers from the US and EU from Monday was the "sensible way forward".
He said: "I think we have to realise that this virus is going to be with us for probably another couple of years.
"And we've got to work out that we can't totally isolate ourselves from new variants and we have to get on with life and business. And as long as our population is vaccinated, that will reduce the risks of severe side effects, problems, deaths, hospitalisations, etc.
"So I've never seen the reason for stopping people coming from countries, particularly when they have less infections than we do, which has been the case for the last couple of months."
Govt's 'slapdash' approach to travel rules undermines public confidence, says MP
Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran, who is Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Coronavirus, said the Government's "slapdash approach" to travel rules "will only continue to undermine public confidence in Government decisions at a time when clarity and caution are crucial".
Responding to comments made by Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab earlier today, where he stated that the decision to place France on the amber plus list was based on the prevalence of the Beta variant in the Reunion area, Ms Moran said: "The government’s lack of a ‘comprehensive’ border policy is resulting in incoherent messaging at home and abroad.
"Ministers should have clear justifications for any changes made with regards to international travel."
Portugal to lift night-time curfew amid rise in vaccinations
Portugal will lift its night-time curfew and restrictions on restaurants' opening hours from Sunday.
Prime Minister Antonio Costa told a news conference that "vaccination has contributed very significantly to (allow) these measures" but urged people to remain cautious as "the pandemic has not disappeared".
Mr Costa also said the mandatory wearing of face masks in crowded outdoor areas would end from the beginning of September and nightclubs and bars, which have been shut since March last year, would be able to reopen the following month.
Three in 10 young adults in England yet to receive first vaccine dose
Almost a third of young adults in England have still not had a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, figures show.
Some 68.1 per cent of people aged 18 to 29 had received a first dose by July 25, according to estimates from NHS England, meaning 31.9 per cent are likely to be unvaccinated - the equivalent of around 2.7 million adults under 30.
Vaccine uptake in the age group remains lower among men than women, with an estimated 70 per cent of women aged 18 to 24 having received one dose, compared with 62.2 per cent of men.
The Health Secretary Sajid Javid yesterday urged young people to get vaccinated, saying that it was a "liberating" way of ensuring a return to normal.
Israel to offer third dose of Covid vaccines amid surge in delta variant
Israel is to offer a third booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine to over-60s in a bid to keep the delta variant at bay, becoming the third country to run a live trial of a three-jab vaccination plan.
Israeli officials took the decision after seeing evidence that the first people to get vaccinated against Covid in January were now more susceptible of catching the virus due to fading antibody levels.
Nachman Ash, the director general of the Israeli health ministry, told healthcare providers to begin offering third doses from the start of next week, according to local media reports.
Israel follows Hungary and Turkey, which have already announced that they will begin offering a third dose of Covid vaccines to the elderly.
Read the full story here
Northern Ireland further relaxes Covid rules
All indoor settings will apply a one-metre distance rule
Social distancing will no longer be required outdoors
Full return of live performances at theatres, concert venues, hotel function rooms and community halls
Dancing will not be permitted at indoor events
Fully-vaccinated travellers from the US and EU amber list nations will be able to enter without quarantine from Monday
Uefa VIP guests and Villarreal fans will be allowed to travel to attend the Super Cup on 11 August without self-isolating (Chelsea fans travelling from England for the match are already exempt from travel restrictions)
International cruises will return from Saturday
Pakistan to ban unvaccinated from air travel
Pakistan will ban unvaccinated staff from entering public offices, schools, restaurants, transport and shopping centres, officials said, despite only 2.7 per cent of the population having received both vaccine doses.
Covid vaccine certification will also be required for all airline passengers and crew.
Asad Umar, the head of the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC), said: "If you're not vaccinated you can't go to teach at schools and colleges from August 1.
"We can't put our children's lives at risk just because you're not ready to get the vaccine."
Out of a population of 220 million, more than 27.8 million people have received one vaccine dose, but only 5.9 million have been fully-vaccinated, according to the NCOC.
UK records 31,117 new Covid cases and a further 85 deaths
The UK has recorded 31,117 new cases of Covid-19 and a further 85 deaths within 28 days of testing positive for the virus.
Cases have risen slightly since yesterday, when 27,734 cases were reported, but are down from last Thursday's case number of 39,906 new infections.
Deaths are also down from the 91 recorded yesterday.
Biden asks Congress to extend rent protections amid Covid spike
Joe Biden has asked Congress today to extend the eviction moratorium to protect renters and their families amid an ongoing spike in Covid-19 infections across America.
The US President also asked the Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Agriculture and Veterans Affairs to extend their eviction bans throughout the end of September to protect Americans living in federally insured, single-family properties.
Disney to remandate masks at US theme parks
Disney has reintroduced its compulsory mask mandate at its US theme parks for all guests over the age of 2.
Starting Friday, guests will be required to wear face masks in indoor locations at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and the Disneyland Resort in California - regardless of their vaccination status.
The policy change comes as Covid-19 cases surge in certain parts of the US, particularly amongst the unvaccinated.
On Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reversed its former decision and recommended that all fully-vaccinated people begin wearing masks indoors in places with high transmission rates, in states like California, Florida, Alabama and Georgia.
Two Olympic pole vaulters test positive for Covid
Two Olympic pole vaulters, including the US world champion Sam Kendricks, have tested positive for Covid-19 in the athletes village in Tokyo.
Kendricks’s father broke the news on Instagram that his son had tested positive and said he "feels fine and has no symptoms".
Argentinian pole vaulter Germán Chiaraviglio also revealed he was out of the Games after a positive test.
All 63 members of Australia’s track and field team were ordered into immediate isolation in their rooms, but it was later announced they had all been cleared. No Team GB members are understood to be affected.
Covid vaccine has prevented estimated 60,000 deaths in England
The coronavirus vaccination programme in England has prevented an estimated 22 million infections and 60,000 deaths, according to new figures from Public Health England.
Vaccines are also estimated to have directly prevented more than 52,600 hospital admissions.
The figures cover the period up to July 23 and are based on modelling by PHE and Cambridge University.
Previous estimates, for the period up to July 9, had suggested around 37,000 deaths and 11 million infections had been prevented.
Dr Jamie Lopez Bernal, a consultant epidemiologist at PHE, said vaccines have had a "remarkable impact" on saving lives and praised everyone who has been vaccinated for having "played a part in this vital effort".
260 Covid testing sites open for critical workers
Downing Street has said 260 testing sites are now open to support workers in critical industries to avoid having to self-isolate if they come into contact with a positive case or get pinged by the NHS app, by being tested each day before work.
A spokesman for the Prime Minister said: "We now have over 260 of these sites providing testing and we are in the process of establishing 800 further.
"Following them, we will then establish the remaining 1,200 over the coming days.
"As we said when we set this out, our intention is to get these up and running as quickly as possible so we can ensure industries that provide the critical service they provide can continue to do so."
Coronavirus around the world, in pictures
Record 1.3m people in England and Wales told to self-isolate in a week
Almost 1.3 million people were told to self-isolate in England and Wales in the past week after being pinged by the NHS Covid app.
NHS data shows that for the week up to July 21 a record 689,313 people were pinged by the app - up from a previous record set in the week to 14 July, in which 618,903 self-isolation alerts were sent out.
The figures mark the third consecutive week that more than half a million people have been told to self-isolate by the app.
A further 597,260 people were identified as close contacts of someone who had tested positive for coronavirus by NHS Test and Trace in the same week, with 94.1 per cent of those being successfully reached and told to self-isolate.
The ‘pingdemic’ continues to put pressure on businesses despite the Government’s exemption list of key industries, with shop and hospitality workers still being forced to self-isolate in large numbers.
The Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick acknowledged the high number of alerts can be “frustrating” for those pinged, but said “the app is doing what we asked of it” and urged people to continue self-isolating if asked.
World reaches four billion administered vaccine doses milestone
More than four billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered around the world, eight months after the vaccination drive started, according to AFP.
However, vaccination rates around the world have started to stall, with the fourth billion reached in 30 days - while it took only 26 days to reach the previous billion milestone.
Around 40 per cent of the four billion doses have been administered in China (1.6 billion), with India (451 million) and the US (343 million) following behind.
Other leading countries are Qatar, Canada, Israel, Singapore, the UK and Denmark - who have all fully-vaccinated more than half of their populations.
However, vaccine delivery remains unequal, with high-income countries having administered an average of 97 doses per 100 people compared with just 1.6 doses per 100 people in low-income countries.
Covid testing site opens at St Pancras International
A private Covid-19 testing site has opened at St Pancras International station.
Travellers using the Eurostar or taking trains towards Luton Airport will be able to take PCR, antigen and antibody tests at the facility inside the station, located on the Grand Terrace.
The centre charges £32 for a lateral flow antigen test and £66 for PCR testing.
Provider Collinson also offers a pre-return video test kit for travellers to pack in their suitcases for in-destination testing with a medic before returning to the UK.
Long Covid casts 'shadow' on Armed Forces personnel
Government data shows a total of 462 Armed Forces personnel have sought out "at least one" Covid-related appointment at a specialist rehabilitation centre.
Of the military personnel seeking assistance, 447 had a check up via a Covid outpatient appointment, and 260 attended a Defence Covid Recovery Service appointment.
Another form of support, a Covid course appointment, was provided to 224 members of the Armed Forces, while 26 had a course review appointment.
Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran, who chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Coronavirus, said: "These striking figures add to an already concerning picture of the shadow being cast by long Covid over our armed forces - the total inadequacy of the Government's response to the rise of this condition so far is plain to see.
"We rely on our Armed Forces for our protection, so it's deeply concerning to hear that such numbers have been living with this often life-limiting condition. With personnel numbers already cut back so far in recent years, we can't afford to let long Covid add to that any further.
"An urgent strategy is needed to respond to the threat posed by long Covid and provide support to the thousands of people suffering from the long-term consequences of this pandemic."
Wales reports 724 new Covid cases and a further three deaths
Wales has reported 724 new daily cases of Covid-19 and a further three deaths within 28 days of testing positive for the virus.
New York to London flights up 250pc since Govt announcement
Virgin Atlantic has reported a spike in bookings for flights from the US to UK since the Government announced that fully-vaccinated travellers from the US (and EU) will not need to quarantine when they arrive in England from 4am on Monday.
The airline company reported a 100 per cent rise in week-on-week bookings, while New York to London trips are up by almost 250 per cent.
Juha Jarvinen, the airline's chief commercial officer, said: "We know there's pent-up demand to travel and our surge in bookings for US-UK travel reflect this.
"The news that self-isolation for fully vaccinated US citizens arriving into the UK will be removed from 2 August has increased consumer confidence, allowing our customers to finally plan a much-needed reunion with family, friends and business colleagues.
"We now urge the UK Government to go further and move the US to the UK's green list, and for the Biden administration to repeal the 212F proclamation for UK travellers."
Japan's daily Covid cases top 10,000 for first time
Daily cases of Covid-19 in Japan have exceeded 10,000 for the first time, with the country's prime minister insisting that the outbreak has not been caused by the ongoing Tokyo Olympics.
Japan will extend its state of emergency in Tokyo and Okinawa to 31 August and will declare a new state of emergency in four additional prefectures.
The prime minister Yoshihide Suga said on Thursday that he did not think the Olympics had contributed to the rise in infections thanks to the strict measures being taken to ensure it runs smoothly and safely.
Northern Ireland creates 'selfie opportunities' to boost vaccine uptake among young
The head of Northern Ireland's vaccination programme, Patricia Donnelly, has told MLAs that vaccination uptake among the 18-29 age group has been "incredibly slow" - and that Stormont had realised that "if we didn't allow the opportunities for selfies, it [vaccination] may not actually even be seen as an important event".
Ms Donnelly said the slow uptake was a cause of "enormous concern", with the programme apparently falling "off a cliff" in June when it was opened to the younger age bracket.
She added that a behavioural expert had advised that the reluctance of young people to get vaccinated was more to do with convenience than safety concerns.
Around 60 per cent of 18 to 29-year-olds in Northern Ireland have received a first vaccine dose.
Record 689,313 pings last week
A record 689,313 alerts were sent to users of the NHS Covid-19 app in England and Wales in the week to July 21 telling them they had been in close contact with someone who had tested positive for coronavirus, NHS figures show.
1,800 health care staff in Northern Ireland off work due to Covid
Paul Cavanagh, the interim director of planning and commissioning with Northern Ireland's Health and Social Care Board, has told MLAs that 1,800 health care staff in the region are currently off work due to Covid 19.
Mr Cavanagh told the Assembly's Health Committee that the staffing shortages were having an impact on the ability of the health service to cope with increasing numbers of Covid-19 inpatients.
He said while some of the 1,800 staff had been infected with Covid-19 the "vast majority" were isolating after being identified as a close contacts of someone else with the virus.
"Some 1,800 staff are currently off due to Covid," he told MLAs.
"Some of them are infected but the vast majority of them are actually isolating due to contact with others who have tested positive, so it's a large number of staff that are currently unavailable to us and obviously we're looking at where the opportunities are for those double-vaccinated staff, the majority of whom are double vaccinated of course, how we can actually see how we can maintain them in work despite coming into contact with someone who has been infected."
Mr Cavanagh said around 120 surgeries planned for this week in Northern Ireland had been cancelled due to the need to free up staff to cope with increasing Covid-19 admissions.
France calls UK quarantine rules discriminatory and excessive
England's decision to keep quarantine measures for travellers coming from France and not for those coming from other European Union countries is discriminatory and not based on science, a French minister said on Thursday.
England said on Thursday it would allow fully vaccinated visitors from the EU and United States to arrive without needing to quarantine from next week, but that it would review rules for travellers from France only at the end of next week.
"It's excessive, and it's frankly incomprehensible on health grounds ... It's not based on science and discriminatory towards the French," French Europe Minister Clement Beaune said on LCI TV. "I hope it will be reviewed as soon as possible, it's just common sense."
Beaune said France was not planning tit-for-tat measures "for now".
The British government has said it is keeping quarantine rules for travellers from France because of the presence of the Beta variant there, but French officials say the bulk of cases comes from the island of La Reunion in the Indian Ocean.
Shops leave social distancing signs up
Students made to wait until September on double-jabbed guidance
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has said guidance on whether students will have to be double jabbed to return to university will be available in September.
Asked on BBC Radio 4's Today programme whether double vaccination will be advisory or compulsory for students returning to halls of residence in September, he said: "When we come to the crunch these decisions will be taken in September."
He added: "We have, right the way through this pandemic, had to take advice and decisions based on the evidence as we see it. We will certainly make sure university students have advanced warning, of course we are going to be mindful of that."
"You are seeing this on the international scale. We need to give ourselves the reassurance we don't take backwards steps having come out of what has been a very intrusive lockdown.
"The only steps that we will take in this regard are ones that will maximise the freedom that the vast majority of the country are hankering and want to enjoy."
Government 'cannot guarantee' US and EU travellers won't use fake vaccine passports
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the Government "cannot guarantee" that US and EU travellers will not try to show fake vaccination certificates.
He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "We can't guarantee that some people might not do it. I think it is highly unlikely.
"The point here is that, with both the European countries and the US, we are talking about high-trust countries with whom we have not just an intuitive level of high trust, we have active co-operation, so we know that we can straighten out any discrepancies we might come across pretty quickly."
Mr Raab said there is a "double lock" of written certification and proof of US residency for American travellers, which he said could allow "further checks if there is any suspicion of fraud".
He added: "Both domestically with our rollout but also internationally we want to open up, we want to move the country forward, but we want to do it irreversibly and we need to take solid, surefooted steps forward.
"We feel this is a modest opening up of international travel but one that has the reassurances that we can take further steps forward as we build confidence in the system."
'Right level of security' on US and EU travellers, insists Raab
The Foreign Secretary has said there is the "right level of security and assurance" to let travellers from the US and EU into the country without coronavirus restrictions.
Dominic Raab told Sky News: "We keep an eye on the variants, but because of the 70% double vaccination of our population and because we are insisting only people from the US, the EU and perhaps in due course, as we build up confidence in the system other countries, we proceed on that basis.
"Because it is people who are double vaccinated we believe we have got the right level of security and assurance against people who might be at risk of a variant coming in from abroad."
Fertility 'scare stories' behind hesitancy - and the four messages young need to hear
A GP has warned that "scare stories" around fertility are behind some hesitancy among young people, a GP has warned.
Professor Sam Everington of Tower Hamlets CCG said there are four main messages that need to be driven home to young people:
The risk to them and to remind them that actually most people in hospital now are people under 16 younger age groups basically who have not been vaccinated
Then there's long Covid which is pretty devastating for a lot of people
And then there is actually appealing to protecting their, their grandmother and grandfather and the rest of their family. We've got a lot of people living in multi generational households. So it's persuading them to do that too
And then also reminding them about the passport scenario too
He added: "But most of it is about actually talking through their fears and concerns by trusted individuals that we do know. We are actually as nurses and doctors in the NHS.
"We continually come out in polls as the most trusted professionals in the country, and using that to good effect is really important."
Get creative to get young people vaccinated, urges GP
The way to get younger people vaccinated is to get creative, a GP has said.
Professor Sam Everington of Tower Hamlets CCG told the BBC's Today programme: "We're having to do a lot of really innovative things so we've got a Summer Festival this weekend.
"We've had 60 pop ups in the last month with West Ham Football Club. We had an event there with 7,000 people that we vaccinated.
"We're now doing a raffle for a West Ham signed shirt. And the deal is that people put something on Twitter, and then go into the raffle."
Watch | Health Secretary says vaccines will liberate young
Raab rejects bringing travel quarantine easing forward
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has rejected suggestions that rapid testing alone could be used to release travellers to the UK from quarantine.
On Wednesday Government adviser and immunologist Professor Sir John Bell said data had shown from January that testing could be used to release travellers to the UK from self-isolation on arrival.
Responding on why testing could not be used immediately to ease international travel restrictions, Mr Raab told Sky News: "We are doing daily testing, but I think the answer to your question 'why do it now not in say, two-and-a-half weeks' time?' is we know and we can project how many people broadly we'll have double vaccinated and that is the level of reassurance we want to get to.
"I know it has been frustrating, I know it has been an inconvenience, there's been lots of things in this pandemic that have been inconvenient.
"But the truth is the whole tide - whether it is domestic restrictions, international - is going in the right direction of opening but we do need to just be careful, make sure we are doing it at the right time."
Thrill-seekers to be offered Covid jab before rollercoaster ride
A pop-up Covid-19 vaccine clinic is set to open at a theme park as health officials ramp up their drive to vaccinate younger adults.
People who are visiting Thorpe Park, Surrey, on Thursday will be able to get a vaccine before riding a rollercoaster.
The NHS said the clinic will be offering Pfizer jabs to anyone who has not yet taken up the offer, or second doses to those who are eligible.
People will be told to wait 15 minutes after getting jabbed to enjoy the rides.
Australia calls in the military to lock Sydney down
Australia's biggest city Sydney posted a record one-day rise in local Covid-19 cases on Thursday and warned the outbreak would get worse, as authorities sought military help to enforce a lockdown of 6 million people poised to enter its sixth week.
Australia has struggled to contain an outbreak of the highly infectious Delta variant in and around Sydney in recent weeks.
Despite an extended lockdown of Sydney, the state capital, New South Wales recorded 239 locally acquired cases in the past 24 hours, the biggest daily rise since the pandemic begun.
With little sign that recent restrictions are reducing case numbers, Berejiklian said new curbs would be imposed on the southwestern and western areas of Sydney where the majority of Covid-19 cases are being found.
More than two million residents in eight Sydney hotspots will now be forced to wear masks outdoors and must stay within 5 km (3 miles) of their homes.
With even tighter restrictions set to begin on Friday, New South Wales Police said it had asked for 300 military personnel to help enforce lockdown orders.
Anti-vaxxers in richer countries trickle down to poorer countries, says professor
Professor Sir Andrew Pollard, the head of the Oxford vaccine group, has said that anti-vaxxers in countries like the UK and the US create vaccine hesitancy in poorer countries.
He told the BBC's Radio 4 Today programme: "I think there's no doubt that any of the negativity about vaccine programmes can impact anywhere around the world and we are definitely seeing that hesitancy in high income countries can affect low income countries.
"But I think the reality in most of the world is actually people are desperate to receive vaccines, and the problems so far has been the inequitable distribution and that's something which I hope now as we move to the second billion doses."
Stormont to consider relaxing travel restrictions
Stormont ministers will consider a range of proposed relaxations to Covid-19 rules on international travel later.
Health Minister Robin Swann has circulated a paper to executive colleagues proposing that the region follows the rest of the UK from Monday by allowing travellers from EU amber countries and the US who are fully vaccinated to enter without the need to quarantine.
The PA news agency understands that Mr Swann will also bring a proposal to the executive that Uefa VIP guests and Villarreal fans travelling to attend the Super Cup in Belfast on August 11 are exempted from isolation.
Chelsea fans travelling from England for the showpiece match are already not subject to any travel restrictions.
Other proposals on travel to be considered by the executive on Thursday include the return of international cruises from Saturday.
Ministers will also examine a proposal for managed isolation arrangements for international students arriving from red list countries ahead of the new academic term. These arrangements, if approved, would come into effect on August 9.
Today's front page
Here is your Daily Telegraph on Thursday, July 29.
'For all I care, you can die anytime,' says president
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is warning that Filipinos who refuse to get vaccinated against coronavirus will not be allowed to leave their homes as a safeguard against the more contagious delta variant.
Mr Duterte said in televised remarks on Wednesday night that there is no law mandating such a restriction but he is ready to face lawsuits to keep people who are "throwing viruses left and right" off the streets.
The brash-talking president adds that for people who don't want to be vaccinated, "well, for all I care, you can die anytime".
However, more than public hesitance, the Philippines has been grappling with vaccine shortages.
Nearly seven million Filipinos have been fully vaccinated and more than 11 million others have received their first dose. That is a fraction of the government's target of 60 million to 70 million people.
Cambodia prepares for lockdown
Cambodia is set to launch a lockdown until August 12 in eight provinces bordering Thailand from midnight on Thursday, in a bid to prevent the spread of the delta variant in the South-East Asian country.
Prime Minister Hun Sen signed an order late on Wednesday for the lockdown, which bans people from leaving their homes, gathering in groups and conducting business, except for those involved in operating airlines.
Cambodia managed to largely contain coronavirus for most of last year, but an outbreak first detected in late February has driven up total cases to 75,152, with 1,339 deaths.
Fears US music festival will be a super-spreader
The hordes of people expected to descend on Chicago's Grant Park for the Lollapalooza music festival this week will be required to show proof that they've been vaccinated for Covid or tested negative within the past three days.
The four-day festival starts on Thursday and is expected to be back at full capacity, with about 100,000 daily attendees. It will be Chicago's - and one of the country's - largest gathering since the pandemic started.
Anyone who isn't vaccinated will have to wear a mask.
Public health officials and others have raised concerns that such a large gathering, even outdoors, risks turning into a super-spreader event.
Sydney records highest case number since start of pandemic
The delta outbreak in Australia's biggest city Sydney grew by 239 cases on Thursday, the highest daily rise since the pandemic started, forcing authorities to increase police powers to shut down businesses not complying with lockdown measures.
The city is in its fifth week of an extended nine-week lockdown, which is scheduled to end August 28, but the spread of the highly transmissible variant continues to grow.
Sydney, home to a fifth of Australia's 25 million people, is grappling with its worst outbreak for this year, forcing authorities on Wednesday to extend lockdown restrictions for another month.
More than 2,800 cases have been detected, with 182 people hospitalised. Two new deaths were recorded, taking the total number of deaths in the latest outbreak to 13.
Thailand reports record infections and deaths
Thailand today reported a daily record of 17,669 new coronavirus infections, bringing the total number to 561,030 since the start of the pandemic last year.
The country also reported a record 165 Covid deaths, also a daily record, with the total number of fatalities reaching 4,562.
Cuomo wants NY state employees to get jab
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says state employees must get vaccinated against coronavirus by Labor Day or undergo weekly virus tests.
Mr Cuomo said "it's smart, it's fair and it's in everyone's interest".
The governor is following on the heels of California, New York City and other jurisdictions that have announced similar policies this week.
Mr Cuomo is calling on local governments across New York to follow suit and mandate either shots or frequent testing for government workers.
Today's top stories
Britain expects the US to drop its UK travel ban after ministers reopened the border to Americans, the Transport Secretary said on Wednesday night
Downing Street has no plans to run a nationwide campaign to get people back to work in offices as they did last year, meaning working from home could become the norm for many
Nate Silver, one of the world's most renowned forecasters, has criticised Prof Neil Ferguson for his "overconfident" prediction that Covid cases could rise to 100,000 a day
Face masks have fuelled an increase in stalking, the victims' commissioner warned as she urged the police to take the crime more seriously
Just 10 per cent of the daily contact testing sites meant to end the "pingdemic" are up and running, it has emerged, with the Government confirming that the rollout might not be complete until the end of August