Five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Friday morning.
Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Friday morning. We’ll have another update for you this evening.
The UK government has given more detail on the resumption of international travel. A traffic light system to categorise countries based on risk will include a watch list for those countries that could move from “green” to “amber”. But a requirement for travellers to pay for Covid tests when departing and returning to the UK has left the travel industry frustrated. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told the BBC he was “concerned” about the cost of the tests, and the government was committed to driving down the price by working with the private sector. But ministers say they can’t yet confirm whether overseas trips will resume on 17 May – the earliest possible date set out previously.
Wales is relaxing its restrictions earlier than anticipated, thanks to a drop in the number of Covid cases. Gyms will be allowed to reopen from 3 May, with two households able to form a bubble to meet indoors from the same date, rather than 10 May. Outdoor wedding receptions for up to 30 people will move forward a week to 26 April. However, the dates for reopening hospitality remain unchanged, with pubs, cafes and restaurants able to serve outdoors from 26 April.
The UK’s leading sports bodies are backing “vaccine passports” and Covid testing as “credible” means of allowing full capacities at venues. In a letter to the leaders of the major political parties, they say a certification process could be beneficial “in getting more fans safely back as quickly as possible”. Signatories include the Football Association, the Premier League, the England and Wales Cricket Board, the Rugby Football Union, the All England Tennis Club at Wimbledon and Silverstone motor-racing circuit.
Islamic scholars and NHS leaders are urging Muslims not to let fasting over Ramadan stop them getting a Covid jab. During Ramadan many Muslims abstain from food and drink in daylight hours and Islamic teaching says Muslims should prevent “anything entering the body” between sunrise and sunset. But Qari Asim, an imam in Leeds, says that because the vaccine goes into the muscle rather than the bloodstream and is not nutritious, it does not amount to breaking the fast.
With shops in England able to swing open their doors to customers from Monday, we gauge the mood in Bilston, a market town on the outskirts of Wolverhampton. Some traders are getting to grips with new rules, while others have adapted the way they promote their wares. But all are eager to get back to business.
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