UK Covid news LIVE: Expensive travel PCR tests ‘to be axed for double-jabbed holidaymakers’

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UK Covid news LIVE: Expensive travel PCR tests ‘to be axed for double-jabbed holidaymakers’
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Expensive PCR Covid tests may be binned for fully vaccinated holidaymakers on their return to the UK, according to reports.

Already there has been talk of scraping the green and amber lists on the traffic light holiday system soon.

Now NHS’ free lateral flow tests could replace the expensive PCR test which is currently required on the second day after arrival and can cost more than £100, according to The Mail On Sunday.

This would save families hundreds of pounds when booking a holiday.

Covid tests before leaving Britain also may be dropped.

Boris Johnson, Chancellor Rishi Sunak, Health Secretary Sajid Javid and Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove will reportedly be in talks over the plans this week.

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Scotland: More than 1,000 Covid-19 patients in hospital

14:55 , Leah Sinclair

More than 1,000 coronavirus patients are in hospital in Scotland.

The number of patients with recently confirmed coronavirus is 1,019, according to the latest data published by the Scottish Government on Sunday.

This is a rise of 34 on the previous day and marks the ninth consecutive daily increase.

Of these patients, 88 are intensive care, up five.

Scotland recorded 5,912 new cases in the past 24 hours but no new deaths, the latest figures show.

However, the Scottish Government noted registry offices are generally closed at weekends.

The death toll under the daily measure - of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days - remains at 8,242.

The test positivity rate was 11.5 per cent, up from 10.9 per cent the previous day.

A total of 4,140,616 people have received the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccination and 3,777,461 have received their second dose.

Vaccine passports were ‘untenable and illogical’, says Parklife Festival co-founder

12:55 , Leah Sinclair

Vaccine passports were “untenable and illogical”, the co-founder of Parklife Festival has said.

Sacha Lord, who is also night time economy adviser for Greater Manchester, said: “I’m pleased to see that the Government has listened to the events and nightlife industry and dropped the plans for vaccine passports.

“The plans were untenable and illogical and there were multiple factors which would have been discriminatory and legally questionable.

“As a sector, we can now move forward, without hesitation or vague regulations.

“We have welcomed over 80,000 visitors to this weekend’s Parklife Festival. Having been forced to cancel the festival last year due to Covid, it is a momentous weekend and a hugely positive step as we try to rebuild the events industry in the UK.”

The Music Venue Trust welcomes vaccine passport announcement

12:29 , Leah Sinclair

The Music Venue Trust (MVT) also welcomed the announcement, describing vaccine passports as “problematic”.

A spokeswoman for the charity said: “The double vaccine certification programme proposed by the Government contained a number of challenges around deliverability, practicality, equality and potential discrimination. MVT has been describing those problems to ministers and departments for the last two months, and we therefore welcome the decision to not move forward with this policy.

“It is important to reiterate that grassroots music venues want the tools to be able to create safe events. They are experts in risk mitigation, and there is ample evidence that, working alongside the live community, a great deal has already been achieved to reopen every venue safely.”

NTIA chief welcomes plans to scrap vaccine passports in England

12:20 , Leah Sinclair

Michael Kill, chief executive of the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), welcomed the decision to scrap plans for vaccine passports in England.

He said: “Following an intense political and public campaign by the NTIA, its members and wider industry supporters, we welcome the comments from the Health Secretary this morning regarding the Government’s decision to scrap the planned mandate of Covid passports from the end of September.

“We hope that businesses will now be able to plan for the future with some degree of certainty, regain confidence from customers and the workforce, and start to rebuild a sector that has consistently been at the sharp end of this pandemic.

“Our focus now is to ensure that the Chancellor’s October budget allows us the financial space to rebuild and for the industry to maintain its exemplary record in support of the public health strategy keeping our staff and our customers safe.”

Sajid Javid: Some NHS targets were ‘nonsense’

12:11 , Leah Sinclair

Sajid Javid said some NHS targets were “nonsense”.

Speaking about the recovery of the NHS waiting lists after coronavirus, the Health Secretary told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: “I’ve had a couple of months now reviewing NHS targets, and I’ve got to say looking at the targets that have been set under successive governments, long before we had Covid, some of them are wrong, they’re just nonsense.

“We need a proper review of targets because it’s the act of a lazy politician just to set some target that gives them a good short-term headline, that actually leads to the NHS going backwards and not looking after patients. I’d rather have clinicians doing their clinical work helping patients rather than sitting there filling in forms all day.”

Javid: The Government should not be introducing Covid-19 measures ‘just for sake of it’

11:36 , Leah Sinclair

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the Government should not be introducing coronavirus measures “just for the sake of it”.

Speaking on The Andrew Marr Show on the BBC, he said: “There’s a lot of defences - we’ve just gone through some of them - that we need to keep in place, because this virus hasn’t gone anywhere. There’s still a pandemic so of course we need to remain cautious.

“But we just shouldn’t be doing things for the sake of it or because others are doing, and we should look at every possible intervention properly.

“So you asked about vaccine passports, so I think it’s fair to say, I think most people probably instinctively don’t like the idea, I mean I’ve never liked the idea of saying to people you must show your papers or something to do, you know, what is just an everyday activity, but we were right to properly look at it, to look at the evidence.

“What I can say is that we’ve looked at it properly and whilst we should keep it in reserve as a potential option, I’m pleased to say that we will not be going ahead with plans for vaccine passports.”

Boris Johnson to scrap draconian lockdown laws in Covid Winter plan

10:40 , Leah Sinclair

Boris Johnson to scrap draconian lockdown laws in Covid Winter plan

England vaccine passport plans ditched, Javid says

10:05 , Leah Sinclair

Sajid Javid has said the Government “will not be going ahead” with plans for vaccine passports in order to gain access to nightclubs and other crowded events.

Plans had been announced that members of the public would be required to show proof they have had two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine in order to gain entry to clubs and other large-scale events in England.

But in a U-turn on Sunday, following a backlash from Tory MPs, the Health Secretary said the idea had been scrapped.

He told The Andrew Marr Show: “I’ve never liked the idea of saying to people you must show your papers or something to do what is just an everyday activity, but we were right to properly look at it.

“We’ve looked at it properly and whilst we should keep it in reserve as a potential option, I’m pleased to say that we will not be going ahead with plans for vaccine passports.”

Javid hopes the Government can avoid bringing in vaccine passports

10:05 , Leah Sinclair

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said he hopes the Government can avoid bringing in vaccine passports.

Asked about the possibility during an interview on Sky News, Mr Javid said: “We have been looking at that. We’ve been open about that. Instinctively I don’t like the idea at all of people having to, let’s say, present papers to do basic things.

“So if we do that, it has to be something that is looked at very carefully and something that we believe that has to be done with no alternative.

“With the vaccination rates rising - for example with 16 and 17-year-olds we only started just last month, now over 50% of 16 and 17-year-olds are already vaccinated - I think we need to take that into account and make a final decision, but I hope we can avoid it.”

He added: “I am not here today to rule that out. We haven’t made a final decision as a Government.”

Booster vacination programme could start this month, says Javid

09:37 , Leah Sinclair

Health Secretary Sajid Javid has said he expects the booster vaccination programme for Covid-19 to start this month.

He told Sky News: “There is evidence of waning immunity, particularly in older people, more vulnerable people. And we are already taking action on that.

“So for example just a week ago I announced that those people that are immuno-suppressed that they should get a third jab as part of their primary treatment. That has already started.

“And in terms of a general booster programme, we have asked the JCVI to look into this. They gave me interim advice a month or so ago where they supported this, but they said they wanted to do some further work. We have given them the time to do that work.

“But I believe we will be able to start our booster programme, subject to their final advice, on schedule this month.”

Health Secretary Savid Javid said he will not ‘push’ chief medical officers for advice on vaccinating 12 to 15-year-olds

09:25 , Leah Sinclair

Health Secretary Savid Javid said he will not “push” chief medical officers for their advice on vaccinating 12 to 15-year-olds, but added he has asked for schools to start preparing.

On vaccinations for healthy 12 to 15-year-olds, Mr Javid told Sky News’s Trevor Phillips show: “We have been looking at that. I’m not in a position to make a final decision on it.

“I have received advice a week or so ago from the JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation), our committee of experts, their advice was that I should ask the chief medical officers of the UK, the four chief officers in the UK to take a look at not just the health aspects of vaccination, but whether there were any broader reasons that it might be in the welfare of children, and that’s what I’ve done and they need to be given the time to look at this, and I will wait to see what they have to say.”

Asked when the chief medical officers will give their advice, Mr Javid said: “I’m not going to push them - they need to take their time. It’s independent advice, as it should be. They need to take their time.

“I don’t think they will be taking that much longer, but in the meantime I have asked the department to work with schools, the school vaccination teams, to start preparing, just in case we have a situation where their advice is to recommend it, and then if the Government accepts that then I just want to be able to go ahead with it.”

Sajid Javid said he wants to get rid of PCR tests for travel ‘as soon as I possibly can'

09:15 , Leah Sinclair

Sajid Javid said he wants to get rid of PCR tests for travel “as soon as I possibly can”.

The Health Secretary told Sky News’s Trevor Phillips On Sunday: “I’m not going to make that decision right now, but I’ve already asked the officials that the moment we can, let’s get rid of these kinds of intrusions.

“The cost that generates for families, particularly families just trying to go out and holiday, you know we shouldn’t be keeping anything like that in place for a second longer than is absolutely necessary.”

Travellers returning to Wales to be able to use private Covid testing

08:37 , Leah Sinclair

Travellers returning to Wales to be able to use private Covid testing

China reports 46 new Covid-19 cases, up from 25 a day earlier

07:50 , Leah Sinclair

China reported 46 new Covid-19 cases on the mainland for September 11, up from 25 a day earlier, the national health authority said on Sunday.

Twenty of the new infections were locally transmitted and the rest imported, the National Health Commission said.

The number of new asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed cases, was 44, up from 21 the day before. Of the new cases, 18 were local.

Mainland China has confirmed 95,199 Covid-19 cases, with the death toll unchanged at 4,636.

Johnson set to announce winter Covid plan with focus on vaccinations

07:47 , Leah Sinclair

Johnson set to announce winter Covid plan with focus on vaccinations

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