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Fully vaccinated British expats abroad will be able to avoid quarantine when returning to the UK

Fully vaccinated British expats abroad will be able to avoid quarantine when returning to the UK under plans being drawn up by ministers

  • Move would make family reunions and other trips to UK much easier for expats 
  • Announcement confirming the policy could come as early as next week  
  • British expats whose jabs were administered abroad will still have to quarantine 

British expats fully vaccinated abroad will be able to sidestep quarantine when returning to the UK under plans being drawn up by ministers.

The move would make family reunions and other leisure trips to the UK much easier for the 5.5millon or so British citizens living abroad.

An announcement confirming the policy could come as early as next week, the Mail understands.

Under new rules coming into force on Monday, fully vaccinated Britons returning to the UK from more than 140 amber list countries will be able to sidestep quarantine if their jabs were administered by the NHS.

It means British expats whose jabs were administered abroad will still have to quarantine for up to ten days on arrival, even if the vaccine they received is approved in Britain.

The move would make family reunions and other leisure trips to the UK much easier for the 5.5millon or so British citizens living abroad

The move would make family reunions and other leisure trips to the UK much easier for the 5.5millon or so British citizens living abroad

Dropping that requirement could make family reunions and other important trips possible for expats only able to visit for a week or two before needing to return to where they live for work or other commitments.

Having to self-isolate means they face having to remain in a hotel or wherever they are staying for up to ten days before being able to leave to meet with friends and family.

Britons returning from abroad can show proof that they have received both doses via the NHS app.

But it is understood one issue is that the technology needs to be adapted so foreign-administered doses can be registered on the system.

Kate Can, 28, originally from Basildon in Essex, moved to Turkey in 2014 where she now lives with husband Orcun Can, 33, and their 18-month-old daughter, Ela.

They have been unable to return to the UK since Christmas to see Mrs Can’s parents in Essex.

She believes Turkey, currently on the red list, could soon return to amber as the Covid situation there has improved and said extending the side-stepping of quarantine to expats would make returning for a family reunion possible.

Dropping that requirement could make family reunions and other important trips possible for expats only able to visit for a week or two before needing to return to where they live for work or other commitments

Dropping that requirement could make family reunions and other important trips possible for expats only able to visit for a week or two before needing to return to where they live for work or other commitments

She said: ‘It would make a huge amount of difference because we’d be able to come and immediately see family and meet up with people.

‘Without that, especially with our work commitments and my husband’s working patterns, it would be difficult.

‘Extending it to expats would mean we’d be able to come and see family and come and go in the space of a week or two.

‘If we had to quarantine, even if at my parents’ house rather than a hotel, it would mean no one else could come and visit us and it would make things difficult.’

The development came as First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, attacked the UK government’s move to relax restrictions for double-jabbed people arriving from amber countries.

He said the change ran the risk of ‘re-importation’ of Covid back into the country and that the previous regime of making all amber arrivals quarantine regardless of whether they have been vaccinated was ‘more sensible and proportionate’.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, he said: ‘I do regret the fact that the Prime Minister has decided that [fully vaccinated] people returning from amber list countries do not require to self-isolate.

‘I think it runs the risk of re-importation of the virus into the United Kingdom, I think it runs the risk of new variants cropping up elsewhere in the world coming into the UK and into Wales.

‘I think the previous regime was a more sensible and proportionate one.’

He added: ‘When people are on holiday, they will behave in the way that people on holiday behave.

‘They will be mixing with more people, they will be doing the sorts of things that bring them into contact with one another.

‘Here in Wales in September of last year, we ended up with considerable difficulties caused by the re-importation of the virus.

‘People (went) on holiday to many other parts of the world and when they came back to Wales, they were already infected.

‘That drove a new rise in infections here in Wales. We can avoid that and it’s a risk we don’t need to run.’

Despite the comments, Wales has decided to follow suit and adopt the new amber rules along with England.

On Wednesday, Mr Drakeford said he ‘regretted’ the UK government’s move but that it would have been ‘untenable for Wales to adopt a different border health policy.’

The Welsh government is still advising people to holiday domestically.

Scotland has also decided to adopt the new amber rules for returning travellers.

Although double-jabbed Britons returning from amber countries will be able to sidestep quarantine from Monday, they will still be required to take two tests. 

One of these must be taken within three days of returning to the UK and can be a rapid antigen swab if it meets certain standards, while the second must be a ‘gold standard’ PCR test taken no later than day two on arrival in the UK.

Non-fully vaccinated people will still have to quarantine when returning from amber countries.

Around 5.5 million British expats live overseas, including 1.2million in Europe, the vast majority of which is on the amber list.

Most of these are in Spain, where there are around 760,000 expats, many of them retirees. 

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This post originally posted here United Kingdom News

Britons should be ‘prepared’ to pay £1,750 when returning from an amber country holiday

Britons should be ‘prepared’ to pay £1,750 when returning from an amber country holiday

“I recently returned from a business trip to the US, which is currently on the amber list and I had to have a test within 72 hours before returning.

In addition to that, he said “travellers will have to provide proof of their day two and day eight tests results, which cost roughly £90.”

“Another point to consider is that while British travellers can now easily travel home from amber countries, these countries may have restrictions in place on arrival.

“Countries such as Spain, France and Italy can change their rules for travellers coming in at any time, especially as UK COVID-19 infections continue to rise.

Steph McGovern returning to morning TV after quitting BBC Breakfast ‘My 3.30 alarm’s back’

Steph McGovern returning to morning TV after quitting BBC Breakfast 'My 3.30 alarm's back'

Steph McGovern, 39, has announced she will be setting her alarm back to 3.30am this summer as she takes on a new morning TV role. The former BBC Breakfast host will be presenting the Paralympics Breakfast Show alongside former Paralympic cyclist and TV host Arthur Williams.

Steph previously used to wake up early to host BBC Breakfast during the weekdays from 6am to 9am.

However, she stepped down from the show in 2020 to spend more time with her partner and baby daughter.

The star now hosts Steph’s Packed Lunch on Channel 4 from a more reasonable hour of 12.30pm, however that is soon set to change.

Steph typed on Twitter: “My 3.30am alarm clock will be going back on in the summer.

READ MORE: Ulrika Jonsson strips off again after brutal reaction to naked shoot

The presenters will include the wheelchair basketball player Ade Adepitan, who will front the highlights show Today in Tokyo, from Japan, as well as the disability advocate Sophie Morgan, former Royal Marine commando and Strictly Come Dancing star JJ Chalmers, and former professional rugby union player Ed Jackson.

Lee McKenzie and Vick Hope will be reporting from Japan, while in the UK, Clare Balding will present live sport finals from Leeds, and Arthur Williams and Steph McGovern will head a daily Paralympics breakfast show.

Adam Hills, Alex Brooker and Josh Widdicombe will present The Last Leg daily from London and will be joined by Rosie Jones, reporting from Tokyo.

More 4 will become a dedicated team sports channel and will broadcast matches live from Tokyo, featuring ParalympicsGB teams in wheelchair rugby and wheelchair basketball.

Ian Katz, the director of programmes at Channel 4, said: “Channel 4 has long played a fundamental role in bringing a global audience to the Paralympic Games and for shifting perceptions of disabled people through our significant investment in coverage and award-winning marketing campaigns for London 2012 and Rio 2016.

“Now we’re finally able to get excited about bringing the long-awaited Tokyo 2020 Paralympics to UK viewers, with even more coverage than ever before across multiple platforms, from multiple locations and hosted by a stellar presenting team.

“We’re looking forward to bringing the best coverage possible to the British public so we can all get behind ParalympicsGB and celebrate their success in Tokyo.”

Channel 4 and More 4 will carry live subtitles, and the opening ceremony will have live signing.

Author: Holly Fleet
Read more here >>> Daily Express :: Celebrity News

Sonic's Limited-Edition 'Birthday Pack' Is Returning For His 30th Anniversary

If you were about when Sonic the Hedgehog celebrated his 10th anniversary, you might remember how Sega released a limited-edition bundle containing a copy of Sonic Adventure 2 and a special ‘Birthday Pack’ featuring a 10th-anniversary coin, booklet and a gold Sonic music CD soundtrack.

For those who missed it the first time around and happen to be located in Japan, Sega has revealed it will be releasing an updated version for the blue blur’s 30th birthday. There’ll be the same contents (slightly updated) and this time around it’ll be available alongside the release of Sonic Colors: Ultimate in an Anniversary Pack for the price of 9,889 Yen, or about $ 89 USD.

Here’s the full rundown of what’s included, courtesy of SEGAbits:

The Anniversary Pack contains:

– The “Life in Sonic’s World Vol.1” art book, which features the “SONIC PICT” illustrations featured on the official Twitter account in Japan, depicting Sonic and friends going about their daily lives. The book will also feature an exclusive cover illustration as well as commentary and behind the scenes stories of their production.

– “Life in Sonic’s World” CD, featuring music from the games meant to accompany the art book.

– Sonic 30th Anniversary Collector’s Coin: A limited edition coin commemorating the 30th anniversary of Sonic.

Sonic Colors: Ultimate and the Birthday Pack
Sonic Colors: Ultimate and the Birthday Pack (Image: via Amazon)
And this is what Sonic's 10th Anniversary Birthday Pack looks like...
And this is what Sonic’s 10th Anniversary Birthday Pack looks like… (Image: via SEGAbits)

Once again, this is a Japan-only offer, but there are import options available. Would you be interested in this 30th-anniversary edition of the Sonic the Hedgehog Birthday Pack? Did you secure the original back in 2001? Leave a comment down below.

Author:
This post originally appeared on Nintendo Life | Latest News

Floyd Mayweather returning for June 6 exhibition fight against Logan Paul

Floyd Mayweather returning for June 6 exhibition fight against Logan Paul

Mayweather had a 50-0 record with 27 knockouts during a career in which he won world titles in five weight divisions over three decades.

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla — A month before he returns to the ring at age 44 for an exhibition bout, Floyd Mayweather wound up in a brawl.
The boxing Hall of Famer will face Logan Paul in a pay-per-view event on June 6 at Hard Rock Stadium in Florida. On Thursday, he squared off — sort of — with Paul’s brother, Jake, who prompted the scuffle when he took Mayweather’s cap.
Apparently incensed that Mayweather called both Pauls “fake fighters” and offered to take on both on the same night, Jake Paul confronted the former champion. In what appeared to be a staged get-together, Paul grabbed Mayweather’s white baseball cap and “security” jumped between the two as Mayweather surged toward Paul.
“I don’t have to talk about what I’m going to do. The world knows what I’m going to do,” Mayweather said. “I’m willing to fight both in the same night.”
Mayweather had a 50-0 record with 27 knockouts during a career in which he won world titles in five weight divisions over three decades. Among the opponents he beat were Canelo Alvarez, Manny Pacquiao and Oscar De La Hoya before he retired in 2015 — though he stopped mixed martial arts fighter Conor McGregor in 2017.
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In the 26-year-old Paul, Mayweather will face a star created on the internet. Followed by more than 20 million on YouTube, Paul began boxing in 2019 with a six-round bout against fellow YouTube star KSI. A former high school wrestler, Paul will have a 6-inch height advantage over Mayweather, but obviously gives away plenty in ring experience and mastery.
“Logan Paul is huge on YouTube and he has a huge following. He’s a big guy, strong guy,” Mayweather said. It’s just fun. It’s entertaining. It’s all about entertainment and, of course, when he’s on social media, he’s entertaining to people all the time.”
It’s uncertain if Mayweather was referring to the news conference altercation as entertaining, too.
“I just feel inspired,” Logan Paul said. “I want to beat the (stuffing) out of him. I really do. This fight means so much to me. To my fans. To my family. To everyone watching who thought they couldn’t do something in life. That’s the energy I’m going in with. Everyone says this is impossible. Well it was impossible that I got this fight.”
The undercard will feature heavyweights Jean Pascal against Badou Jack, and super welterweight Jarrett Hurd vs. Luis Arias. Former NFL wide receiver Chad Johnson will make his boxing debut.
The pay-per-view telecast will be on Showtime.

Author:
This post originally appeared on CBS8 – Sports

Texans remain concerned about pandemic, but they’re returning to normal, UT/TT Poll finds

Author: Ross Ramsey
This post originally appeared on The Texas Tribune: Main Feed

Texans remain concerned about pandemic, but they’re returning to normal, UT/TT Poll finds

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Pokémon Happy Meals Are Returning To McDonald's In The UK Next Month

Pikachu, coming soon! (Not as a food, though... That would be horrific.)
Pikachu, coming soon! (Not as a food, though… That would be horrific.)

There aren’t many things in life that can beat the good old video games and food combo, so you’ll hopefully be pleased to hear that Pokémon Happy Meals are soon returning to McDonald’s restaurants in the UK.

Special Pokémon Happy Meals appeared across restaurants in the US earlier this year – you might remember that scalpers tried to hoover up the lot of them to sell off the included 25th-anniversary Pokémon cards – and we’ve been tipped off that a similar promotion is heading to the UK on May 19th.

Our anonymous McDonald’s reporter, who previously shared a sneak peek at the 2018 Super Mario toys, says that the Pokémon meals will be launching once the current SpongeBob promotion (running from today up until 18th May) is over:

Pokemon Happy Meal
Pokemon Happy Meal

The goodies included for those of us in the UK haven’t been confirmed just yet, but it would make sense for the same 25th-anniversary promotion to make its way across the pond. Previous Pokémon Happy Meals have also included collectable figures.

Will you be heading to McDonald’s to pick up a Pokémon Happy Meal? Don’t talk with your mouth full in the comments below.

This article originally appeared on Nintendo Life | Latest News

Analysis: Returning to normal before the Texas herd has immunity

Analysis: Returning to normal before the Texas herd has immunity

As efforts to vaccinate Texans and keep the coronavirus spread under control continue, the state is rapidly opening up, with traffic getting busier and larger crowds in places that have seemed empty for the last year.

Everything from ballparks to concert venues to restaurants are filling up.

There’s a race going on, between the desire to return to a pre-pandemic normal and to get enough Texans immunized to make that a safe proposition.

At the moment, the desire to see an end to the pandemic is a lot stronger than the evidence that the end of the pandemic is near. And this week’s news about vaccines and immunizations could feed misgivings about getting the shots.

The governor of Texas is talking up the possibility that we are “very close” to herd immunity, when in reality, that condition remains well out of reach. Meanwhile, a fresh scare about rare safety risks of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine — one of three that has been widely administered in Texas — is fueling some resistance to COVID-19 immunizations.

All of those things could push herd immunity further into the future.

Gov. Greg Abbott is making the end sound close at hand. It’s not. As of Sunday, 19.7% of the state’s population — about 5.7 million people — had been fully vaccinated. If you add in the number of Texans with acquired immunity from confirmed or probable COVID-19 cases — 2.8 million — that means as much as 29.3% of the state’s population is immune.

“I don’t know what herd immunity is, but when you add it to the people who have acquired immunity, it looks like it could be very close to herd immunity,” Abbott said on Fox News Sunday.

His math is faulty: The state remains far short of the 75% to 90% vaccination levels that health experts say would achieve herd immunity. And even if every adult in the state was vaccinated, the shots aren’t yet available for Texans under age 16 — about 23% of the population.

The real math: Texas is at least 13.3 million vaccinations or new COVID-19 cases away from herd immunity. The governor did say that “we’re not declaring victory,” but talking as if the vaccination job is already done is hardly an incentive to get the remaining Texans lined up for their shots.

Two days after the governor’s irrationally exuberant comments, the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine given to 6.8 million Americans was temporarily halted, as federal health officials investigate six reports of a “rare and severe type of blood clot” in women who received the shot.

The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said people who’ve had that vaccine should contact a doctor if they experience bad headaches, pain in the abdomen or legs, or shortness of breath within three weeks after getting the shot. They paused the use of that vaccine while they’re looking at what they believe is a rare reaction.

“The odds are that you are twice as likely to be hit by lightning than to have had this rare complication. But having said that, it is a significant type of blood clot and problem, so they really need to take a look at this and sort through the information, make sure they have the best data and make sure that actually is the probability, and get as much information as possible,” said Dr. David Lakey, vice chancellor for health affairs and a chief medical officer at the University of Texas System and a member of the state’s Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel.

Two more vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are still being administered. Officials are hopeful they can keep the momentum they’ve built in the last few weeks. It’s clear that everybody from the governor on down wants herd immunity. And to get back to normal.

We’re closer. But we’re not there yet.

Disclosure: The University of Texas System has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune’s journalism. Find a complete list of them here.

Ross Ramsey
This article originally appeared on The Texas Tribune: Main Feed

Sidelined last year, the Met Gala is returning — twice

Sidelined last year, the Met Gala is returning -- twice

The galas, an “intimate” one on Sept. 13 and a larger one on May 2, will launch a two-part exhibition.

WASHINGTON — The Met Gala is coming back. Actually, twice.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced Monday that the annual high-wattage celebration of both fashion and celebrity — canceled last year because of the pandemic — will return in person, first in September, then again in 2022 in its usual slot of the first Monday in May.
The galas, a “more intimate” version Sept. 13 of this year and a larger one on May 2, 2022, will launch a two-part exhibition, to be on view for almost a year.
“In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,” opening Sept. 18, will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the museum’s Costume Institute and “explore a modern vocabulary of American fashion,” the museum said. Part two, “In America: An Anthology of Fashion,” will open in the museum’s popular American Wing period rooms on May 5, 2022, and will explore American fashion, with collaborations with film directors, by “presenting narratives that relate to the complex and layered histories of those spaces.” Both parts will close on Sept. 5, 2022.
There was no immediate word on who the celebrity hosts, or chairs, would be for the galas, traditionally a heady mix of luminaries from fashion, music, film, TV, sports and other arenas. The first gala in September will be smaller, and held in accordance with government coronavirus guidelines. The second next May is intended to be larger, in line with previous galas which typically hold about 550 guests.
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The gala is a major fundraiser, providing the Costume Institute with its primary source of funding. In 2020, the gala was canceled but fans were invited to engage in a social media challenge to recreate favorite red-carpet looks.
“Fashion is both a harbinger of cultural shifts and a record of the forces, beliefs, and events that shape our lives,” said Max Hollein, director of the Met, in a statement. “This two-part exhibition will consider how fashion reflects evolving notions of identity in America and will explore a multitude of perspectives through presentations that speak to some of the complexities of history with powerful immediacy.”
As always, the exhibits will be the work of star curator Andrew Bolton. “Over the past year, because of the pandemic, the connections to our homes have become more emotional, as have those to our clothes,” he said in his own statement. “For American fashion, this has meant an increased emphasis on sentiment over practicality.”
He said that in accordance with this shift, Part One of the exhibition will establish “a modern vocabulary of American fashion based on the expressive qualities of clothing as well as deeper associations with issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion.”
As for Part Two, it will “further investigate the evolving language of American fashion through a series of collaborations with American film directors who will visualize the unfinished stories inherent in The Met’s period rooms.”

Piers Morgan aims jibe at Meghan Markle in 'April Fools' quip about returning to GMB

Piers Morgan aims jibe at Meghan Markle in 'April Fools' quip about returning to GMB

Piers’ new comments about Justin Welby were prompted after the Archbishop was quizzed on Meghan and Harry’s official wedding day in an interview with with la Repubblica.

Mr Welby said: “If any of you ever talk to a priest, you expect them to keep that talk confidential. It doesn’t matter who I’m talking to. I had a number of private and pastoral meetings with the duke and duchess before the wedding.

“The legal wedding was on the Saturday. I signed the wedding certificate, which is a legal document, and I would have committed a serious criminal offence if I signed it knowing it was false.”

The Archbishop was responding to Meghan telling Oprah in their chat: “You know, three days before our wedding we got married.

“No-one knows that, but we called the Archbishop and we just said, ‘look, this thing, this spectacle, is for the world, but we want our union between us’.”