THE UK will face “tens of thousands” more Covid deaths as lockdown is lifted – despite the UK seeing its lowest daily fatalities in 10 WEEKS.
Scientists at SAGE have been modelling the path of the outbreak under various unlocking scenarios to warn Boris Johnson against moving too fast.
According to documents given to the Prime Minister to inform his lockdown roadmap, there will be another wave in July, very slowly fizzling out by the end of 2021 – plus an additional 30,000 to 80,000 deaths on top of the 120,000 so far.
During a Downing Street press conference yesterday, Mr Johnson hailed spring and summer as “the seasons of hope” – and that the vaccine had “helped us change the odds”.
As part of his four step approach, schools will reopen in early March and Brits will be able to meet up to five friends within a matter of weeks.
According to the PMs lockdown roadmap, the first date for your diary will be March 8 when schools reopen and you’ll once again be able to meet one friend or family member in an outside space for a picnic or a coffee.
Despite the positive feeling around the roadmap, Boris reminded Brits that all steps towards easing are reliant on cases, hospital admissions, vaccinations and deaths continuing to fall.
Follow our coronavirus live blog below for the very latest news and updates on the pandemic…
DYNASTY STARS REUNITE TO RAISE FUNDS FOR LONG COVID RESEARCH
Ex-Dynasty star Emma Samms, 60, has praised fellow stars for supporting her bid to raise money for research into Long Covid.
The actress – who played Fallon Carrington in the ’80s show – suffered from coronavirus in March 2020, but is still exhausted from the disease.
Cast members are signing up for a Dynasty Reunion to help raise funds.
VEGGIE RESTAURANT STAFF ‘COVID HEROES’ FOR 3,000 FREE MEALS
Staff at a vegetarian restaurant have been hailed as ‘Covid Heroes’ after serving up more than 3,000 free meals to help lockdown-stricken locals.
The Gherkin in Levenshulme, Greater Manchester, decided to chip in and aid the community, especially those hit financially by the coronavirus pandemic.
Owner Jamie Whittaker, 40, and his 14-strong team have worked tirelessly to provide 3,360 cooked vegetarian meals, 1,120 homemade desserts and 72 Christmas food parcels to struggling locals.
Jamie, from Levenshulme, praised his ‘amazing’ staff, adding: “When delivering the meals, it was heart-wrenching to see so many people struggling but they were very thankful. It’s nice to be a part of something positive.
“I’ve always been involved in community work so I couldn’t just sit back and do nothing during this challenging time.”
CAMBRIDGE UNI COVID PUNISHMENT CONTINUED
A spokesperson for Wolfson College said of the punishment doled out to Covid rule-breakers at Cambridge Uni: “We follow a disciplinary policy developed and agreed by the collegiate University for all Colleges to follow – and you can find this on our website.
“Fortunately, it’s not something we commonly have to resort to. We’ve only had one instance where a student was requested to provide community support and this was to be carried out with a charity of their choice.”
A spokesperson for St Catharine’s said: “Our approach was developed at the start of the academic year in collaboration with student representatives to encourage safe and respectful behaviour during the pandemic.”
A St John’s spokeswoman confirmed: “At the end of the Michaelmas Term, a small number of students had their room licences suspended during the Christmas holiday as a result of serious breaches of the Covid-19 regulations.”
She added: “No student suffered hardship as a result of this decision and their individual study, travel, and home accommodation arrangements were all carefully considered as part of this measure.”
CAMBRIDGE UNI MAKES COVID FLOUTERS ‘PEN FIVE-PAGE ESSAYS AS PUNISHMENT’
Cambridge University allegedly forced anti-lockdown students to pen grovelling five-page essays on the “perils” of flouting Covid rules.
Barmy bosses at the posh uni also asked repeat rule-breakers to do “community service”, and banned undergrads at one college from their own rooms as punishment.
Students found repeatedly flouting breaking lockdown rules – like not wearing a mask, failing to socially-distance and hosting booze-ups with other households – were subjected to the bizarre list of punishments.
Those housed in Trinity Hall College, Corpus Christi College and Peterhouse College were told to write a “five-page handwritten essay reflecting seriously on ‘The Perils of Breaking Covid-19 Regulations’.”
One anonymous first year student fumed: “It’s anachronistic and regressive as a punishment and ours was based on the flawed assumption that students don’t already understand the risks of breaking regulations.”
EASTENDERS STAR SHANE RICHIE USES FURLOUGH CASH
EastEnders legend Shane Richie claimed cash from the Government’s furlough scheme, The Sun can reveal.
Official files released by HMRC show that the I’m A Celeb star’s business is among more than 600,000 firms to claim money during the Covid pandemic.
It is not clear if Richie, 56, claimed the cash for himself or employees at his firm, Bluebelle Skye Productions.
According to Companies House he was appointed a co-director of the business in July alongside wife Christie.
Speaking just before entering Gwrych Castle for last year’s show in Wales, Shane said: “I was going on tour, doing a TV series and panto but it all got cancelled in March. Now I am literally skint!”
BRITS ‘STILL WEARING FACE MASKS NEXT WINTER’
Brits could still be wearing protective face masks next winter, warns Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance.
“It may be necessary next winter to have things like mask-wearing in certain situations,” he said on Monday.
It’s a similar situation over in the US, where infectious diseases official Dr Anthony Fauci said it was possible Americans would still be wearing masks in 2022.
But the expert said measures to stop the spread of Covid would be increasingly relaxed as more vaccines are given.
COPS WARN OUTDOORS SEX EVENT BREAKS COVID RULES
A ‘dogging’ meet planned for Canvey Island in Essex has been slammed by cops for failing to meet “essential travel” rules.
Fuming police have warned the public against attending after X-rated website “Let’s Go Dogging” invited its 26,000 kinky followers on social media.
The site claims to organise ‘dogging’ events – the act of watching sexual activity in a public place – in the UK, USA, Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and South Africa.
An Essex Police spokesperson said: “We will be patrolling sites across Canvey over the weekend as part of our regular patrols.
“If you are thinking about organising a social gathering or making a non-essential journey, please reconsider, stay safe and stop the unnecessary spread of Covid-19.”
QUEER EYE STAR GETS CORONA JAB
Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness has had his first Covid jab in New York.
He was eligible for an early vaccine as he is HIV positive – having spoken about it to The New York Times two years ago.
The star has told others with the virus to see whether they are also able to request an earlier jab.
EU VACCINE CHAOS
GERMANY and France’s vaccination programme has been thrown into chaos as thousands refuse to have the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab after leaders questioned its effectiveness.
Scaremongering by European politicians, including French president Emmanuel Macron, has led to a low uptake in the countries as they lag behind the UK.
Many are skipping their appointments after finding out they would receive the Oxford vaccine, as they instead want the Pfizer jab – causing further issues in their shambolic vaccination drives
A GROOM-to-be was given the devastating news that he had incurable cancer just one hour after he tested positive for Covid-19.
Zach Stockford, 25, was told he had aggressive bowel cancer after a “shadow” was found during a CT scan.
Just an hour before he was told the shattering news, he received an email from NHS test and trace, confirming that he had tested positive for Covid-19.
LOCKDOWN PLANS CANNED
PLANS to lift the Covid lockdown by Easter were canned after Sage scientists warned it would cause 91,000 extra deaths.
A proposal to reopen outdoor pubs, restaurants and non-essential shops by the Easter Bank Holiday weekend – with all curbsgone in April – was among several considered.
However, the date was pushed back after experts forecast it would cause tens of thousands more deaths and overwhelm hospitals with Covid patients, the Daily Mail reported.
ROYAL ALBERT HALL BOSS UNSURE IF PROMS WILL GO AHEAD WITH AUDIENCE
The head of London’s Royal Albert Hall has said he believes the Proms will go ahead this year – but that it has not yet been decided if they will feature an audience.
Chief executive Craig Hassall said the famous London venue, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary, was now looking at reopening to the public in June.
He told the PA news agency it appeared likely the Proms, which usually run from July until the second Saturday in September, would take place, although he did not know in what form.
The 2020 edition featured a reduced orchestra of 65 instead of the usual 300 – but without an audience due to coronavirus restrictions – with the singers placed in the stalls to ensure social distancing.
US TOPS 500,000 VIRUS DEATHS, MATCHING THE TOLL OF 3 WARS
The COVID-19 death toll in the U.S. topped 500,000 Monday, a staggering number that all but matches the number of Americans killed in World War II, Korea and Vietnam combined.
President Joe Biden held a sunset moment of silence and a candle-lighting ceremony at the White House and ordered American flags lowered at federal buildings for the next five days.
“We have to resist becoming numb to the sorrow,” Biden said.
“We have to resist viewing each life as a statistic or a blur”
The half-million milestone, as recorded by Johns Hopkins University, comes as states redouble efforts to get the coronavirus vaccine into arms after last weeks winter weather closed clinics, slowed vaccine deliveries and forced tens of thousands of people to miss their shots.
JOHNSON SAYS LOCKDOWN ROAD MAP WILL BRING ‘INCOMPARABLY BETTER’ LIVES
Boris Johnson has said spring and summer in England will usher in changes to make lives “incomparably better” as he set out a plan to fully ease the lockdown by June 21.
The Prime Minister defended his “cautious but also irreversible” approach to relaxing restrictions with a four-step plan on Monday, arguing he will not be “buccaneering” with people’s lives.
But despite billing his plans as a “one-way road to freedom”, he admitted he cannot guarantee that the vaccination programme will prevent restrictions from ever returning.
His tentative schedule for easing restrictions will be followed on Tuesday afternoon by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon detailing her own plan for easing Scotland’s lockdown.
The Prime Minister accepted that scientific modelling suggested that lifting measures will increase Covid-19 cases and ultimately deaths, but said restrictions cannot continue indefinitely.
WATCH: 2 YEARS TO RETURN TO NORMAL BUT WE’LL HAVE TO LIVE WITH COVID AS ZERO CASES ‘IMPOSSIBLE’
A quarter of Covid patients suffer hair loss in the six months following infection – and women are more at risk, a new study finds.
Researchers studying a range of long-term symptoms found 359 out of 1,655 patients hospitalised in Wuhan, China, suffered with hair loss.
CHRIS WHITTY WARNS OF ‘RAPID SURGE IN INFECTIONS’ IF PEOPLE RELAX TOO EARLY
Chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty urged the public to stick to the rules as lockdown is eased, warning of a “very rapid surge in infection” if they relax too early.
He said there are still “very significant” numbers of people with coronavirus every day and many people still in hospital with the disease, but said now is the point for a “steady, risk-based, data-driven opening up”.
Professor Whitty added that coronavirus was “likely to be a problem” during the winter months “for the next few winters”.
The Government launched a review looking at the use of “Covid status” certificates, which could be used by people to demonstrate they had received a jab or a negative coronavirus test in order to enter venues, or allow firms to reduce restrictions as a result of the status of their customers.
Mr Johnson said there are “clearly some quite complex issues, some ethical issues” including discrimination surrounding them, but added: “There may well be a role for certification but we just need to get it right.”
MINISTERS TO REVIEW WHETHER ‘DISCRIMINATORY’ VACCINE PASSPORTS SHOULD BE ALLOWED
There will be a review into whether vaccine passports could be deployed as part of the road map for releasing the lockdown, the Prime Minister has confirmed.
Boris Johnson said the Government wanted to determine whether offering “Covid status certificates” could help venues to open again.
Senior ministers have frequently appeared to dismiss the idea of introducing vaccine passports in the UK.
Nadhim Zahawi, the Government’s vaccines minister, labelled them “discriminatory” as ministers looked to persuade the public to take up the offer of a jab without the threat of being barred from entering hospitality or other venues if they do not get inoculated against Covid-19.
But the Prime Minister on Monday confirmed that a study into the use of vaccine and testing certificates will be one of four reviews conducted as part of easing the current restrictions.
SPAIN ADMINISTERS OVER 3M VACCINES AS COUNTRY RECORDS 535 NEW DEATHS SINCE FRIDAY
The Health Ministry recorded 20,849 new infections and 535 deaths since Friday, bringing the pandemics confirmed totals to 3.1 million infections and 67,636 fatalities.
Spain has administered over 3 million vaccine doses, with nearly 1.2 million fully vaccinated, mostly residents in nursing homes, their caretakers and health workers.
LOVE ISLAND’S DR ALEX GEORGE HAILS ‘REAL GLIMMER OF HOPE’ OFFERED BY ROAD MAP
Former Love Island contestant and Government adviser Dr Alex George has hailed news that coronavirus restrictions could finally be lifted by June 21 as “a real glimmer of hope”.
The A&E doctor, who appeared on the ITV reality programme in 2018, was appointed as a youth mental health ambassador earlier this year.
He described the four-stage plan, announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday, as “a real glimmer of hope”.
He wrote on Instagram: “WE HAVE A DATE FOR THE DIARY. All going well we could see an end to restrictions on the 21st of June. This is SUCH good news and a real glimmer of hope.
“Let’s use this motivation to keep going, look after ourselves, protect the NHS and move forward with a clear goal in sight.”
LOW INCOME PARENTS WHO HAVE TO SELF-ISOLATE DUE TO KIDS CAN CLAIM £500 HARDSHIP PAYMENTS
Low income-parents who can’t work because their children are self-isolating will be able to claim hardship payments worth £500.
The one-off support payments can be claimed from the Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme, which is being extended into the summer.
EXPLAINED: HOW LOCKDOWN PLAN WILL AFFECT FOOTBALL
The target of May 17 for allowing at least some fans back into stadiums comes a week before the final day of the Premier League of May 23.
It’s great news for the 10 clubs due to be at home, although others must hope to host test events the previous weekend.
The FA Cup final is slated for May 15 and the Championship, League One and League Two seasons wrap up on May 9, but fans could be back for the play-off finals at the end of the month.
The Carabao Cup final was moved from February to April in the hope of welcoming fans but still comes too soon.
The target of June 21 to lift all restrictions comes midway through the rearranged Euro 2020 finals, and the day before England are due to face the Czech Republic at Wembley. The national stadium is due to host the final of the tournament on July 11
POLICE ATTEND ‘PEACEFUL PROTEST’ BY PEOPLE QUARANTINED AT HEATHROW HOTEL
Cops were called to Heathrow as travellers who had been quarantined there staged a ‘peaceful protest’.
The Telegraph reports how quarantine guests refused to return to their rooms at Heathrow’s Radisson Blu hotel after their 15 minute cigarette or fresh air break.
Security guards, charged with ensuring guests follow the rule that they must isolate for ten days after returning to Britain, called the police when they didn’t comply.
After being confronted by officers, protesters – who have been charged £1,750 each to quarantine on arrival at the airport – agreed to return to the hotel.
TEAROOM HONOUR FOR PARLIAMENTARY WORKER WHO DIED AFTER CONTRACTING COVID-19
A tearoom for MPs is expected to be renamed in honour of a parliamentary worker who died after contracting Covid-19.
Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle led tributes to Julia Clifford, commonly known on the parliamentary estate as Julie, who died last week having getting the virus after “bravely fighting cancer”. He told MPs he has asked the House authorities to consider renaming the Members’ Tea Room in her honour.
MPs heard Ms Clifford, 54, joined the Commons in October 1985 and was a “very hard-working and popular member” of the parliamentary family who “always had a smile and time for everybody”.
Sir Lindsay added: “She will be greatly missed and in her honour I have asked the House authorities to consider renaming the Members’ Tea Room to Julie’s Tea Room.
“Our condolences go to her husband John and to her sons, Ben and Jack and the rest of the family.”
— to www.thesun.co.uk