The rise in Covid cases comes as Italian authorities stopped the use of a batch of about 300,000 AstraZeneca vaccine doses after three previously healthy recipients in Sicily died.
A separate batch of the coronavirus vaccine has also been withdrawn in Austria, Luxembourg, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia amid concerns of recipients suffering serious blood clots.
Covid infections are now rising in almost every large European country, except Spain and Portugal, mainly because of the spread of mutant strains from overseas.
In fact, the situation in Portugal has improved to the extent it will likely be removed from the UK’s ‘red list,’ it has been reported.
Grant Shapps, Transport Secretary, is expected to announce changes to the UK’s ‘red list’ travel ban on Monday, with restrictions on Portugal lifted.