Coronavirus news UK latest: Vaccine passports for nightclubs in September as Boris Johnson says pandemic 'far from over'

BRITS will have to show proof of two Covid jabs to get into nightclubs from the end of September, Boris Johnson announced on Freedom Day.

The shock announcement came after ministers had previously ruled out “papers to party” and insisted any such scheme would be voluntary for nightclubs.

 Speaking from Chequers where he has been forced to isolate for 10 days, the PM added: “We’re concerned, as they are in other countries, by the continuing risk posed by nightclubs.

“I should serve notice now that by the end of September, when all over-18s will have had their chance to be double jabbed, we’re planning to make full vaccination the condition of entry to nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather.

“Proof of a negative test will no longer be enough. I don’t want to have to close nightclubs again as they have elsewhere, but it does mean nightclubs need to do the socially responsible thing and make use of the NHS Covid pass.”

Freedom Day got underway early as huge queues of Brits entered clubs at midnight on Monday for dancing, boozing and partying without any face masks or social distancing.

Read our Freedom Day live blog for the very latest updates…

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    HOL-D ON

    Spain and Greece could soon be slapped with new restrictions due to rising Covid cases, meaning even fully vaxxed Brits will have to quarantine back in the UK.

    It follows new rules enforced for France, which means double jabbed Brits must still quarantine for 10 days when returning.

    Fed- up holidaymakers skulked back from France over the weekend after the last-minute amber list quarantine rule change.

    Ministers said they were forced to act quickly late on Friday after concern over the spread of the Beta coronavirus variant in France.

    And it is feared that Spain could soon see the same restrictions being enforced and placed on what has been dubbed the “amber plus list,” along with Greece.

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    BORIS WAS BUSTED

    Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak only went into self-isolation after being "pinged" by the Covid app "because they were busted", Sir Keir Starmer has said.

    In a speech on Monday, the Labour leader said the lifting of remaining coronavirus restrictions on so-called Freedom Day was "reckless", and said the Government had "got virtually every big decision wrong either in substance, or timing, or both".

    And he called for the release of a list of Conservative ministers who had been part of a trial where they would not have to self-isolate after coming into contact with someone who had tested positive for coronavirus.

    It comes after Prime Minister Mr Johnson and the Chancellor Mr Sunak were "pinged" by the app after coming into contact with Health Secretary Sajid Javid, who subsequently tested positive for the virus.

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    SCOTLAND MOVES TO LEVEL 0, BUT STURGEON WARNS TO REMAIN CAUTIOUS

    All of Scotland has dropped to the lowest level of its five-tier system of coronavirus measures – but there is no “wholesale abandoning” of restrictions, Nicola Sturgeon said.

    Face coverings in shops and public transport will remain mandatory for “some time to come”, while social distancing will reduce to one metre inside public places as the shift to Level 0 kicks in, the First Minister said.

    Ms Sturgeon has also warned that so-called Freedom Day on Monday applies to England only, tweeting: “As this chart shows, cases in (Scotland) are falling, but still too high.”

    She added that to talk of “‘freedom day’ (England only remember) is not sensible IMO, given current situation”.

    “Vaccines going well and do offer route through – but as we vaccinate, we must ease up gradually,” she said.

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    RECORD COVID RATES (CONTINUED…)

    Eight local authority areas in north-west England are also seeing record-high case rates: Blackpool, Chorley, Copeland, Fylde, Rochdale, South Lakeland, Stockport and Wyre.

    In south-west England there are 13 areas with rates at a record high: Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol, East Devon, Mendip, Mid Devon, North Devon, North Somerset, Plymouth, South Gloucestershire, South Hams, South Somerset, Torbay and Torridge.

    There are also 10 in the East Midlands: Bassetlaw, Broxtowe, Derbyshire Dales, Erewash, Gedling, High Peak, Newark & Sherwood, North East Derbyshire, North West Leicestershire and Rushcliffe.

    And there are five in the West Midlands: Newcastle-under-Lyme, North Warwickshire, Solihull, Staffordshire Moorlands and Warwick.

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    AREAS WITH RECORD COVID RATES

    Some 50 of the 315 local authority areas across England (16 per cent) are currently recording Covid case rates that are higher than any point since mass testing began.

    Eight of these are in north-east England:

    • Redcar & Cleveland (1268.0 cases per 100,000 people – the highest anywhere in England)
    • Middlesbrough (1,178.9)
    • Hartlepool (1,061.3)
    • Sunderland (1,036.7)
    • Stockton-on-Tees (944.5)
    • Darlington (863.3)
    • County Durham (783.3)
    • Northumberland (674.6)

    In neighbouring Yorkshire & the Humber, six areas currently have record rates:

    • Doncaster (729.1)
    • Wakefield (667.2)
    • Leeds (599.4)
    • Richmondshire (575.1)
    • Hambleton (552.4)
    • East Riding of Yorkshire (517.9)

    ONE IN SIX AREAS IN ENGLAND RECORD WORST EVER COVID RATES ON FREEDOM DAY

    ONE in six areas in England have recorded their worst ever Covid rates on Freedom Day – where does your region stand?

    Today's data shows that Covid hospitalisations have risen by 44 per cent in the last two weeks and that fatalities increased by 19 today.

    Data also shows that every local area in England is now recording coronavirus rates above the symbolic level of 100 cases per 100,000 people.

    This is the first time this has happened since early January, at the peak of the second wave.

    England's overall rate of new cases currently stands at 425.3 per 100,000 people: the highest since January 19.

    PREMIER LEAGUE CLUBS STILL UNCLEAR OVER CORONAVIRUS PROTOCOLS FOR NEW SEASON

    Football clubs in the Premier League are still waiting for guidance on coronavirus protocols with the new season less than a month away.

    Many of the rules regarding travel, testing and biosecure bubbles will still apply despite the Government ending lockdown restrictions this week.

    And it is almost certain that supporters will need to have a Covid passport or proof of a negative test before being allowed to attend a game. But that could prove a logistical nightmare for clubs to organise checkpoints for crowds of up to 75,000, particularly for evening games.

    The plan is for all matches to be played at full capacity grounds for the first time since the pandemic struck back in March, 2020.

    But rising cases of the virus means that football must now find a way of keeping all of their customers safe without maintaining social distancing.

    GRAPHIC: COVID-19 VACCINATIONS IN THE UK

    EVERYTHING YOU CAN AND CAN’T DO FROM TODAY JULY 19 FREEDOM DAY AS NIGHTCLUBS OPEN WITH A BANG AT MIDNIGHT

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      COVID NEWS ROUND-UP: THE LATEST

      • It was confirmed that only vulnerable kids will be able to get the jab next
      • Covid hospitalisations rise 44 per cent in just two weeks
      • The PM said Brits WILL need a vaccine passport to go to clubs from the autumn
      • Brits have continued to wear masks despite the legal mandate coming to an end
      • An expert warned Britain was heading into the biggest wave of Covid infections the country had ever seen
      • The Delta variant continues to spread across the country, as we reveal the biggest hotspots

      KEY WORKERS INCLUDING FACTORY WORKERS, TRAIN DRIVERS & POLICE ALLOWED TO SKIP ISOLATION TO STOP PINGDEMIC CHAOS

      KEY workers in food factories, transport and critical national security jobs will be able to skip self isolation to stop the pingdemic plunging Britain into blackouts and food shortages.

      Boris Johnson tonight announced that thousands of critical staff who are double jabbed will be freed from the draconian rules to stop the country grinding to a halt.

      But in a blow to millions others, Downing Street said there are “no plans” to let the rest of the country escape house arrest if they are pinged.

      PM Boris Johnson told a press conference, which he took part in virtually from Chequers as he is isolating, that he would add more workers to the list that can escape strict quarantine rules.

      Essential workers in the energy industry, telecoms, food supply and parts of law enforcement will be allowed to head out to work if they have a Covid contact.

      Read more here.

      GRAPHIC: UK COVID-19 CASES AND DEATHS PER DAY

      JOHNSON LOOSENS ISOLATION RULES FOR 'SMALL NUMBER' OF CRITICAL WORKERS

      Isolation rules will be relaxed for a "small number" of fully-vaccinated critical workers who are identified as close contacts of coronavirus cases, Boris Johnson has said after coming under sustained pressure over the "pingdemic".

      The Prime Minister on Monday resisted widespread calls to announce a more wide-reaching change to the rules to reduce the number of people in isolation, as he addressed the public from his own quarantine on so-called "freedom day".

      He described self-isolation as "one of the few shots we have got left in our locker", on the day he scrapped most remaining legal restrictions and defended the timing, despite cases soaring.

      But he warned nightclubs and other venues with large crowds must make full vaccination a requirement of entry from the end of September.

      'CLARITY NEEDED' OVER VACCINE TRAVEL FOR IRISH PASSPORT HOLDERS FROM NI

      Politicians have urged the Irish Government to provide clarity on when people from Northern Ireland who hold Irish passports will be able to use the new EU Digital Covid Certificate (DCC).

      The DCC was introduced in the Republic on Monday as part of a EU-wide scheme which will allow unrestricted international travel for those who are fully vaccinated.

      The documents can also be used for indoor hospitality when it reopens later this month.

      But most Irish passport holders in Northern Ireland will not be able to access the certificate at first because they were vaccinated outside of the Republic.

      Fine Gael TD Neale Richmond said the DCC is only available to those who were vaccinated by the HSE, the Irish health service..

      JVT: NOTHING REDUCES THE RISKS OF COVID OTHER THAN 'STANDING IN A MEADOW COMPLETELY ON YOUR OWN'

      Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van-Tam added: "Nothing reduces the risks to zero other than standing in a meadow completely on your own ad infinitum with nobody coming within three metres of you."

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        US WARNS TRAVELLERS AGAINST HEADING TO THE UK OVER 'VERY HIGH' COVID CASES

        American citizens have been warned against travel to the UK over spiralling coronavirus cases.

        The UK was placed on the highest level of the United States travel guidance – "Level 4: Very High" – on Monday, warning that even fully-vaccinated travellers could be at risk.

        The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention issued the update on the day Prime Minister Boris Johnson ended mask-wearing and social distancing laws, while reopening nightclubs.

        Americans were told to "avoid travel to the United Kingdom" but advised to make sure they are fully vaccinated if travel is essential.

        "Because of the current situation in the United Kingdom, even fully vaccinated travellers may be at risk for getting and spreading Covid-19 variants," the guidance added.

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        NEW WAVE OF COVID CASES IS ALMOST AT THE PEAK OF WINTER FLOOD OF INFECTIONS – BUT DEATHS SLOW, GRAPHICS REVEAL

        THE new wave of Covid cases is almost at the peak of the flood of infections during the winter – but deaths remain slow.

        Graphs shown during Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Freedom Day press conference today showed the number of Brits who have tested positive since the pandemic began early last year.

        A graph showed the three waves of coronavirus cases, with the first coming at the beginning of 2020, followed by the winter wave and then the current spike in cases.

        Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said that Covid cases will continue to rise as restrictions have now been rolled back.

        He said today: "We are quite close to the winter wave peak and this is going to increase, and it will increase as we go further into step four. [There's a] very close overlap in cases increasing very similar to the autumn wave and the current wave."

        Read more here.

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        MICHAEL GOVE LED REVIEW INTO USE OF COVID CERTIFICATION

        Proof of a jab won't be needed to enter pubs and restaurants although individual landlords will have the power to insist on them.

        Cabinet office minister Michael Gove led a review into the possible use of Covid certification.

        The results, published in a report earlier this month, had appeared to kill off the prospect of such passports being used at all.

        It stated: "Having considered a wide range of evidence as part of the review, the Government has concluded that it will not mandate the use of COVID-status certification as a condition of entry for visitors to any setting at the present time."

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        CLUBBERS FLOCKED TO NIGHTCLUBS ACROSS THE COUNTRY AS THEY OPENED FOR FIRST TIME IN 16 MONTHS

        Punters flocked to nightclubs across the country as they opened for the first time in 16 months last night. There are fears that the young are turning into a super-spreading generation that could derail staying out of lockdown.

        But on the other hand Boris is facing a strong backlash from the struggling hospitality industry with many venues on their knees.

        The PM has decided to put off introducing mandatory vaccine passports until all over-18s have had the chance to get both jabs.

        That means uni students are likely to be able to enjoy freshers week in clubs without having to prove their vaccination.

        But for most of the first semester they will have to provide Covid passports in a move it's hoped will help see off a winter wave.

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        MUSIC INDUSTRY BODY SAYS SMALL VENUES SHOULD NOT BE TREATED DIFFERENTLY THAN SIMILAR SIZED HOSPITALITY BUSINESSES

        UK music industry body LIVE said small music venues should not be treated differently to similar-sized hospitality businesses over proof of vaccination requirements.

        Greg Parmley, CEO of LIVE, said many festivals and larger venues were already implementing some form of certification.

        In a statement, he said: "The Government has had several different positions on Covid certification in the last six months and we will need to see more detail before we can understand the full impact for the live music industry.

        "Many festivals and large venues are already adopting some level of Covid certification, and as responsible event organisers, will continue to do so.

        "What we are absolutely clear about, however, is that venues such as small music clubs should not be treated any differently to other similar-sized hospitality businesses such as bars and restaurants when it comes to the need for Covid vaccine certification."

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        PM EXPRESS CONCERN OVER 3 MILLION UNVACCINATED 18-30 YEAR OLDS

        The PM expressed concern that more than a third of 18-30 year olds – some three million people – still haven't taken up the jab yet.

        Chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance added: "Right the way across the world we've seen nightclubs and venues where you've got lots of people indoors crowded together are a focus for potential super spreading events.

        "There's no question that is an environment in which spreading is easier, you've got lots of people quite close together, you've got the environment in which spreading becomes easier.

        "I would expect that with opening of nightclubs we'll continue to see an increase in cases and we will see outbreaks related to specific nightclubs as well.

        "And that's again why it's so important that everybody comes and gets a vaccine so we can reduce the chance of spread and we can reduce the chance of consequences of that spread."

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        YOU WILL NEED VACCINE PASSPORT TO PARTY AT NIGHTCLUB FROM SEPTEMBER, REVEALS BORIS JOHNSON

        You WILL need vaccine passport to party at nightclub from September, reveals Boris Johnson

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        YOU WILL NEED VACCINE PASSPORT TO PARTY AT NIGHTCLUB FROM END OF SEPTEMBER, ANNOUNCES BORIS JOHNSON

        Party-goers will have to be doubled jabbed to enter nightclubs from the end of September, Boris Johnson declared tonight.

        In a major U-turn the PM said vaccine passports will be needed to hit the dance floor in a bid to boost take up among 18-30 year olds.

        The PM made the announcement at a Downing St press conference amid fears not enough youngsters are getting the shot. Ministers are desperate to get as many jabs into arms as possible before self-isolation rules are eased on August 16.

        Boris said: "We're concerned, as they are in other countries, by the continuing risk posed by nightclubs. I should serve notice now that by the end of September, when all over 18s will have had their chance to be double jabbed, we're planning to make full vaccination the condition of entry to nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather.

        "Proof of a negative test will no longer be enough."

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        WATCH: DOUBLE-JABBED BRITS NOW MAKE UP 60 PER CENT OF THOSE HOSPITALISED WITH COVID

        Double-jabbed Brits now make up 60 per cent of those hospitalised with Covid

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        PATRICK VALLANCE: 'THERE ARE HIGH LEVELS OF COVID AND THEY ARE INCREASING'

        The Government's chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said there were "high levels of Covid and they are increasing".

        He said the UK was quite close to the previous "winter wave" of infections.

        He told the Downing Street briefing: "In the winter wave, we were up to around 60,000 people testing positive per day. We are now somewhere on towards 50,000. So we're quite close to the size of the winter wave of infections and this is going to increase."

        Discussing hospital admissions, Sir Patrick said it was "a somewhat different picture" as the numbers are expected to increase, although not to the same extent as before.

        "We do expect there to be over 1,000 people per day. Being hospitalised with Covid because of the increase in infections, but the rates should be lower than they have been previously because of the protective effects of vaccination," he said.

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