Tag Archives: scrapped

When you should get second jab? 12 week rule scrapped

When you should get second jab? 12 week rule scrapped

Speaking from Downing Street this afternoon, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has laid out the final stage in relaxing lockdown rules. While a final decision is due to come on July 12, from July 19 most Covid restrictions will be lifted – including working from home guidance scrapped, nightclubs reopening and no legal requirement to wear facemasks. The PM also announced the 12-week gap between Covid vaccines would be reduced.

Mr Johnson said the pandemic is “far from over” and will not be over by July 19, with a potential 50,000 cases detected a day by that date.

He told the Downing Street press conference: “We’re seeing rising hospital admissions and we must reconcile ourselves sadly to more deaths from Covid.

“In these circumstances, we must take a careful and a balanced decision. And there’s only one reason why we can contemplate going ahead to step four in circumstances where we’d normally be locking down further, and that’s because of the continuing effectiveness of the vaccine rollout.”

He said the expectation remains that by July 19 every adult in the UK will have had the offer of a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine and two-thirds will have had a second dose.

Read More: Portugal quarantine rules for Britons come into force

Can you bring your vaccine appointment forward?

If you want a sooner appointment for your second jab, there is one way to bring it forward.

Mark Ford, who is helping deliver the National Booking Service for the Covid-19 vaccine at NHSDigital, tweeted: “If you want to bring your second vaccine dose forward, but haven’t because you have to cancel your appointment first… you can use the new availability checker before you cancel to make sure you’ll get an appointment sooner.”

All you need to do is go on to the NHS website, enter your appointment reference number and select ‘cancel or book’ their current date and time.

This will then show you availability for the vaccination centre you have chosen.

If there is a suitable date and time available, you will have to proceed to cancel your current appointment before being able to book a new one.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said vaccines are “building a wall of protection against hospitalisation”.

Giving a statement in the Commons, Sajid Javid said: “Yet today, even though cases are heading upwards in line with what we expected, hospitalisations are increasing at a much lower rate and deaths are at just one percent of the figure we saw at the peak.

“Our vaccines are building a wall of protection against hospitalisation, and jab by jab, brick by brick that wall is getting higher.”

He added “86 percent of UK adults have had at least one jab and 64 percent have had two.

“We are reinforcing our vaccine wall of defence further still.

“I can tell the House that we are reducing the dose interval for under-40s from 12 weeks to eight.

“Which will mean that every adult should have had the chance to be doubled jabbed by mid-September”.

The Government is also considering whether to give a booster vaccine for coronavirus along with the flu jab over the winter.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid told MPs: “Because of the measures in place this winter, almost nobody in the UK had flu for 18 months now, that’s obviously a good thing but it does mean that immunity from flu is down.

“This winter’s flu campaign will be more important than ever and we’re currently looking at whether we can give people the Covid-19 booster shot and the flu jab at the same time.”

He said the most vulnerable would be offered a third dose from September.

Mr Javid said: “Step four is the next step in our country’s journey out of this pandemic.

“I know that after so many difficult months it’s a step that many of us will look upon with a great deal of caution, but it is one that we will all take together with a growing wall of defence against this virus, a wall that each and every one of us can help build. It’s vital that each of us plays our part to protect ourselves and to protect others into better days ahead.”

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Author: Georgina Laud
Read more here >>> Daily Express :: UK Feed

Car tax changes scrapped in major UK city after report highlights a ‘marginal’ benefit

Car tax changes scrapped in major UK city after report highlights a 'marginal' benefit

Reading Council had looked into charging drivers for parking their vehicles at work to reduce the number of cars on the roads. The proposals would have also introduced a Clean Air Zone charging drivers of highly-polluting commercial vehicles for using the roads.

The scheme was bookmarked for 2026/27 but new analysis means the plans have been ditched.

A major sticking point came after analysis found almost 100 percent of vehicles would be below the threshold at the time of launch.

Under the original plans, Reading Council aimed to reduce concerns of ‘rat running’ in the town centre.

Statistics suggested one in three vehicles which used the roads in the town centre had no origin, destination or purpose in Reading.

READ MORE: New car tax changes could ‘threaten’ classic cars

However, plans to rip up the scheme have been met with opposition by councillors who were pushing for a charge.

Liberal Democrat councillor Ricky Duveen said the twin has an “issue” with air quality that needed to be addressed.

He said: “We have an issue with air quality in the town and I don’t think we can simply delay matters for another five years and essentially ignore the problem.

“Maybe ignore is a strong word but we’re not paying enough attention to it.”

Transport boss Tony Page said the council are committed to a “whole range of measures to deal with climate concerns.

He confirmed dealing with air quality was a “top concern” for the council which would be addressed.

The next Clean Air Zone to be introduced will be in London where the Ultra Low Emissions Zone is set to be expanded from October.

Author: Luke Chillingsworth
Read more here >>> Daily Express :: Life and Style
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‘Isolation needs to be scrapped!’ Monty Panesar rages to Esther McVey on GB News

'Isolation needs to be scrapped!' Monty Panesar rages to Esther McVey on GB News

English cricketer Monty Panesar erupted at Tory MP Esther McVey as they discussed coronavirus in schools. While speaking on GB News. Mr Panesar insisted that the Government’s isolation policy for children was not working. He called on the Government to scrap the strategy and look at other ways to deal with COVID-19 in schools. 

He also added that, as things stand, children are less impacted by coronavirus and were losing out on crucial education time by missing school. 

He said: “I think the self-isolation rule needs to be scrapped now.

“It is not working and I think the Government have plans to do it in September.

“All children can do is a lateral flow test, that can really help in the morning.

DON’T MISS: Boris facing backbench revolt over school Covid policy

“If it is negative, you go back to school.

“That is why I think it is something that will work.

“At the moment the system isn’t working, children are less affected by Covid at the moment.

“But they are the ones who are suffering with their education, they are falling behind.”

Ms Mcvey also voiced her frustration at the Government’s strategy.

She said: “Children are not getting their education.

“We all know that education is a key indicator to what you do later in life, about wealth, about health and career prospects. 

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“How are we going to stop, this ridiculous self-isolation process?

“This is not working in schools, it is not working in businesses. 

“If there is a trial on the daily testing, maybe it will work but I know a lot of people are saying, the people that are least affected by Covid, children are now being the most affected by Covid for multiple reasons.”

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Author: Gerrard Kaonga
Read more here >>> Daily Express :: UK Feed

Now Biden turns on AstraZeneca! US President's huge pledge scrapped in major U-turn

Now Biden turns on AstraZeneca! US President's huge pledge scrapped in major U-turn

On Monday the Biden administration announced further plans to share coronavirus vaccines with the world, but it will not include the Oxford AstraZeneca inoculation in its exports. The Biden administration will export 55 million doses of coronavirus vaccines to other countries. The vaccines, which will come entirely from the US, will not include the Oxford AstraZeneca inoculation until it is cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration.

Meanwhile, the US will donate the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines to different parts of the world.

The announcement is a U-turn for the Biden administration’s original plans to share 60 million doses of Oxford AstraZeneca’s vaccine worldwide.

The FDA is still reviewing whether the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine is safe for human use.

Doses of the vaccine are produced in the US at a plant in Baltimore.

The US vaccine donations will be sent to COVAX, the global vaccine equity effort.

Most of the inoculations will be sent to countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia, and Africa.

An official from the Biden administration said that the US still plans to send AstraZeneca vaccines abroad, but only when they have been cleared by the FDA.

President Joe Biden has promised that the US will be the vaccine powerhouse of the world, and will donate millions of inoculations to help end the pandemic.

READ MORE: Coronavirus can infect testicles finds new study – possible symptom in men to look for

Identified locally as “Delta plus,” the new strain was found in 16 cases in the state of Maharashtra, Federal Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan told a news conference.

The vaccine roll-out effort in India has fallen short of stopping a devastating second wave of the virus.

So far, about 5.5 percent of the 950 million people eligible in India have been vaccinated.

Indian health officials doubt the nation can maintain the pace of vaccinating people against this new strain that has reportedly more transmissibility than former strains.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: World Feed

Britons able to work in Australia more freely as farm work requirement scrapped – new deal

Britons able to work in Australia more freely as farm work requirement scrapped - new deal

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Scott Morrison have agreed in principle a free trade deal, which sees Britons able to work in Australia for three years with no farm work. Tariffs will also be removed on various goods under the expected completed deal in 2022.

Downing Street has said that Britons under the age of 35 will be able to travel and work in Australia more freely, with the farm work requirement to be scrapped.

The major change in policy is welcomed by many travellers who currently must complete 88 days of work on a rural property if they wish to stay in the country for a second year on a working holiday visa.

This involves working in regional areas in specific jobs such as fruit picking and packing, trimming vines, working in tree farming or working in mining or construction.

The work requirement aimed to help farmers in Australia by providing them with seasonal workers.

READ MORE: Airlines demand travel standards to be discussed at the G7

He said: “There is a great opportunity for young people from both the UK and Australia to move and operate in different countries.

“That builds capacity, in both countries, with that easy engagement.”

The huge move is likely to have an impact on farmers who relied on backpackers, but a new agriculture visa allows British farmers to work in Australia.

The changes will not come into force until at least summer next year when the free trade deal is expected to be officially signed.

The two leaders were said to have agreed the deal on Monday evening, with a final agreement in principle set to be published in the coming days.

Various different tariffs will also be removed from goods.

In a statement explaining the benefits of the deal, Number 10 said the new deal will help distillers by removing tariffs of up to five percent on Scotch whisky. 

For Northern Ireland, 90 percent of all exports to Austria are machinery and manufacturing goods, with tariffs set to be removed and custom procedures simplified. 

Car manufacturers in the Midlands and North of England will also see up to five percent of tariffs cut.

It is also set to eliminate tariffs on Australian goods like Jacob’s Creek and Hardys wine, swimwear as well as confectionery and agricultural products.

However, UK farmers have spoken out about worries regarding the deal, explaining that the market could be flooded with cheaper, lower-quality meat produce.

Farmers in the country have feared that they cannot compete with Australian producers who operate on a much larger scale.

Downing Street has said there will be a cap on the level of tariff-free imports from Australia from 15 years, with other “safeguards” being brought in to protect farmers in the UK.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Travel Feed

Microsoft has scrapped all upcoming Windows 10 updates …and nobody knows why

Microsoft has scrapped all upcoming Windows 10 updates ...and nobody knows why

Microsoft has decided to pause all upcoming Windows 10 updates for the foreseeable future. The Redmond-based company confirmed that all beta builds, which include tests of new features, fixes for glitches, and more would be put on ice.

With no more preview builds of the next major update to Windows 10, scheduled to launch in the autumn, on the horizon, users won’t be able to get early looks at any new features, tools, or designs. Why has Microsoft taken this (pretty drastic) step?

Well, nobody is entirely sure, however, most point towards the upcoming Windows 10 event scheduled for June 24, 2021. Teasing the keynote presentation, Microsoft says it will be the first opportunity to “see what’s next for Windows”.

Some believe the event, which will be available to watch as a live stream worldwide, will offer the first glimpse at Windows 11 – a true successor to Windows 10. And if there is really that much change taking place under the bonnet, it would make sense that Microsoft would pause beta builds of the software ahead of the announcement. After all, the firm doesn’t want beta testers to confirm details about a new design, tool, or feature ahead of their splashy event.

The launch of Windows 11 later this year would make sense. Microsoft usually releases two substantial updates to Windows 10 each year, one in the spring and one in the autumn. With no features almost absent from the first major update to Windows 10 this year, Microsoft confirmed that it was working on the “most significant updates to Windows of the past decade” to launch in the final few months of 2021.

However, what if Microsoft has decided to go further than a glitzy feature-packed update? What if it’s more of a step-change for the entire operating system?

The news comes a month after Microsoft ended all development of its new Windows 10X spin-off, which was rumoured to rival Google’s ChromeOS by providing software for lower-cost laptops, so that it could focus on the core operating system. That certainly sounds like it’s all-hand on deck inside Redmond to get something pretty major turned around in time, doesn’t it?

Surface boss Panos Panay, who is now in charge of Windows to ensure that Microsoft’s operating system and hardware are more aligned, will be hosting the big Windows event on June 24, 2021. Naturally, Express.co.uk will be tuning in and will bring you all of the latest announcements as they happen.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech Feed

Has the Government scrapped plans to use NHS app vaccine passports in the UK?

Has the Government scrapped plans to use NHS app vaccine passports in the UK?

The UK Government will no longer force people to prove their vaccination status using the NHS app to enter nightclubs, theatres, football stadiums, and other venues, according to The Sunday Telegraph. While so-called “vaccine passports” are already in-use before travelling abroad, UK officials are currently working on a review into their use within the UK. The digital certificate is designed to prove that you’ve either had both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, or you’ve received a negative coronavirus test within the last few days. 

Concerts, football stadiums, theatres and festivals were all expected to rely on this app-based certificate – just like airports – to stop those likely to have the disease (or the worst reaction if they picked up a strain of the virus during the event) from attending. However, the UK officials working on the review into the use of Covid-19 status certificates believe the scheme is already dead in the water.

That’s because officials believe there’s no chance UK law will be changed to mandate the use of these passports within the UK, sources sold The Sunday Telegraph. However, when approached by Reuters, a Government spokesperson said that the Covid-19 vaccine certification review is “still in process” and “no decision has yet been made”.

We’d take that with a pinch of salt, however, as there has been mounting concerns over the prospect of vaccine certificates used across the Uk from within Boris Johnson’s own Conservative Party, as well as opposition lawmakers, and civil rights groups. In April, the Prime Minister himself nodded to some of the ethical issues posed by COVID-19 vaccine certification.

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Vaccine passports are already available today – and will be required for some flights abroad – but not needed to attend any football matches, theatres, cinemas, or any other venues now re-opening across England and Wales.

Confusingly, your vaccine passport is found in a completely separate app from the NHS Covid-19 one, which is used to stop the spread of coronavirus. The Covid-19 app is the one that uses Bluetooth to keep tabs on your proximity to other people – flagging when someone you’ve been in close contact with later tests positive for Covid-19 so that you can self-isolate, hopefully stopping the spread of the potentially fatal virus.

But while you’ll need to download the NHS Covid-19 app to scan QR codes when you enter pubs, restaurants, and cafés …something you’ll be doing a lot more of thanks to a change in advice from the Government, you will need the NHS app installed on your phone when abroad.

The much-discussed “vaccine passports” started to land in the NHS app on iPhone and Android when England moved into the next step of its lockdown roadmap on Monday May 17, 2021.

Whether the Government will confirm The Sunday Telegraph story in the coming days remains to be seen. If the issue is getting the law to enforce the use of Covid-19 passports within the UK, we’d imagine we’ll either see the bill go down in flames in the House of Commons …or the Government will just stop talking about the idea altogether.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech Feed

Covid passports scrapped: No legal requirement to show jab status at large events

Covid passports scrapped: No legal requirement to show jab status at large events
Officials working on the coronavirus status certification review reportedly do not believe the law will be changed. It was previously suggested entry to large events could be granted if they present proof of a Covid vaccination, a recent negative test or a positive antibody test for the virus.
Government ministers were looking at changing the law to require COVID-19 passports at football matches, concerts, festivals and business conferences.

However, sources close to the Government said the proposed plans are now “dead”.

One Government source said: “It’s not a case of ‘it’s finely balanced’.

“It’s not going to happen.

“Everyone says it is dead.”

Another source told The Telegraph: “No one is talking about it still as a potential thing.

“It has been killed off really.”

While the Government has decided not to change the law for Covid passports at large events, it does not mean such schemes will not be adopted in the future.

READ MORE: New NHS vaccine passport registers more than 1m new users

While showing proof of a jab has become accepted for international travel, their use domestically has raised ethical questions.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson already ruled out using Covid passports for activities such as visiting the supermarket or the GP.

Mr Johnson also hinted he is not in favour of their use in pubs or restaurants.

Michael Gove, appearing before a select committee on Thursday, stressed the Government was not yet decided on introducing COVID-19 passports.

He said: “I think there’s been a perception among some, not in this committee, that the Government has locked on to this in the same way as JFK said that he was going to put a man on the moon, that we’re going to introduce a policy for certification come what may, hell or high water.

“That’s not the case.

“We’ve been looking at it pragmatically, to see if it can add value and, if not, then we would not press ahead with it.”

A Whitehall source said: “Michael has been listening very carefully to the arguments for and against Covid certification and the review has left no stone unturned in examining whether there is a case for them domestically. He will make recommendations to the PM soon”.

A Government spokesman said: “The Covid status certification review is ongoing and no final decisions have been taken yet.

“The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster will update Parliament after recess.”

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: UK Feed

WhatsApp block will not go ahead! Chat app confirms controversial change scrapped, for now

WhatsApp block will not go ahead! Chat app confirms controversial change scrapped, for now
WhatsApp has been desperately trying to get its billions of users to sign up to new terms which were expected to come into force on May 15. Those not agreeing to the update faced being blocked from sending or receiving messages after that date but it seems the Facebook-owned firm is now be backtracking on this controversial update.
The chat app has now updated its FAQ page which reveals that no one will have their accounts deleted or lose functionality of WhatsApp on May 15th because of this update. Until now, the company has been vocal about how it will stop anyone who hasn’t signed on the dotted line using the app but that’s now all changed.

In a statement sent to Express.co.uk a WhatsApp spokesperson confirmed “We’ve spent the last several months providing more information about our update to users around the world. In that time, the majority of people who have received it have accepted the update and WhatsApp continues to grow.

“However, for those that have not yet had a chance to do so, their accounts will not be deleted or lose functionality on May 15. We’ll continue to provide reminders to those users within WhatsApp in the weeks to come.”

It’s unclear why WhatsApp has made this drastic move but it could simply be that millions haven’t said “yes” to the new terms and the company is worried about so many people losing access. Many had been left hugely unhappy about the change to WhatsApp’s terms with plenty of users adamant that they would not be hitting the “agree” button.

Of course, WhatsApp hasn’t said that it won’t force fans to accept the T&Cs in the future but, for now, if you haven’t signed up you won’t lose access to chats on May 15.

This isn’t the first time WhatsApp has backtracked on its decision to block users who don’t agree to its terms. The original change was meant to come in back to February before being pushed back to May due to the outrage from users. 

So what is all the fuss about?

When WhatsApp first announced its updated terms towards the end of last year, many loyal users were concerned that it signalled more data-sharing between the chat app and its parent company Facebook.

However, WhatsApp is keen to point out that this is not the case. In the new message, the company says, “We can’t read or listen to your personal conversations, as they are end-to-end encrypted. This will never change. We’re making it easier to chat with businesses to ask questions and get quick answers. Chatting with businesses is optional.”

So if that’s the case what is the big deal about the new terms and conditions?

The upcoming changes do not enable Facebook to access any more data from your personal chats. In fact, it will only impact conversations with a business account – like a customer care line for an online brand, for example.

Even then, the data that can be accessed between these optional interactions with business accounts will not apply in the UK or mainland Europe, thanks to tough EU regulations on data-sharing practices.

In a recent blog post WhatsApp has tried to calm fears about the upcoming change with the firm saying: “As a reminder, we’re building new ways to chat or shop with a business on WhatsApp that are entirely optional. Personal messages will always be end-to-end encrypted, so WhatsApp can’t read or listen to them.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech Feed

Boris Johnson told social distancing at big events can be scrapped

Author: Claudia Aoraha
This post originally appeared on Breaking UK news and exclusives | The Sun

BORIS Johnson will be told that social distancing at big events can be scrapped after a pilot scheme showed no spike in Covid cases.

Crowds should be able to return without social distancing from June 21, while experts have said older vaccinated people should “get out there and socialise”.

🔵 Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest updates

Football fans wearing masks at Wembley Stadium

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Football fans wearing masks at Wembley StadiumCredit: AFP

Crowds should return without social distancing, and double-vaccinated Brits should go out and 'socialise'

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Crowds should return without social distancing, and double-vaccinated Brits should go out and ‘socialise’Credit: Alamy

It comes as people are being “terrified” by messages that things may not ever go back to normal – despite the success of the vaccine rollout.

And after initial results from pilot schemes, the Prime Minister will be told next week that there were no spikes in Covid cases among attendees.

With precautions like staggering entries and good ventilation, crowds can return to large events without distancing – following the monitoring of sports games that have already taken place.

A source familiar with the report, according to the Telegraph, said ministers will be told that the pilots have shown “there are some effective ways to manage risk that could remove the need to have social distancing at events”.

The conclusions will be framed as an “initial view” from scientists – with more pilot events coming next month.

With infections dropping to below 50 per 100,000 people in more than 95 per cent of the UK, ministers say that the lifting of all restrictions is in sight.

BACK TO ‘NORMALITY’

Prof Tim Spector OBE, who leads the ZOE COVID Symptom Study, told the Mirror: “Rates are low, we’re not out of it yet but we can be optimistic.

“We shouldn’t be too worried about meeting people outside. I think we can start to increasingly enjoy life as long as we’re sensible.

“This is reassuring for elderly people who have been isolating for a year and have been double vaccinated, to say: ‘Look guys, your risk is so small, you should get out there and socialise.

“Two elderly vaccinated people should be able to go out and give each other a hug.

“We’re just not being honest in that for people who are double vaccinated the risks are tiny.

With precautions like staggering entries and good ventilation, crowds can return to large events without distancing

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With precautions like staggering entries and good ventilation, crowds can return to large events without distancingCredit: Getty
Boris Johnson told social distancing at big events can be scrapped

“A lot of people are still being terrified by Government messages and may never go back to normal.”

Current coronavirus rules state that you must keep two metres from people outside of your household or support bubble.

But Brits can meet outdoors with six people, as well as drink and dine at al fresco hospitality venues.

But social distancing is set to be in place until June 21 at the earliest, according to Boris Johnson’s roadmap.

Current infection levels are among the lowest to have been recorded by experts at the ZOE Symptom Tracker app, with just 757 infections being logged each day in England.

There are currently 1,046 new symptomatic cases of Covid in the UK on average compared to 1,165 daily cases a week ago.

This is a decrease of 10 per cent from last week and study lead, Prof Spector said that rates are beginning to plateau, moving the UK into a new era of the pandemic.

VACCINE ROLLOUT

Three regions also recorded no new infections, these are the East of England, the North East and Northern Ireland.

This comes after Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, England’s deputy chief medical officer, said meetings between fully vaccinated people are “incredibly safe”.

He added that England was “extremely close” to allowing people to meet indoors – but that we needed to “hold the line for just a teeny bit longer”.

Professor Van-Tam warned that there would be “bumps in the road” as Covid lockdown restrictions were rolled back.

He said: “I would be highly confident, scientifically, that if those were reputable vaccines, then indeed it would be incredibly safe for those two people to meet.”

He also noted that following the rules would be “frustrating at times for people, particularly those who’ve had their two doses, but we need to make sure we don’t have to go backwards again”.

“My sense is that probably we are at or close to the bottom at the moment in terms of this level of disease in the UK,” he said.

Professor Van-Tam said it was “inconceivable” that there would be a rise in cases as mixing returned.

However, he said he hoped vaccinations would stop the NHS from being overwhelmed as it was in the winter.

Boris Johnson told social distancing at big events can be scrapped

Health Secretary Matt Hancock receives a jab of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine from Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van-Tam