Covid-19: Critical staff to avoid isolation and some under-18s to get jabon July 19, 2021 at 4:57 pm

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Five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Monday evening.

Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Monday evening. We’ll have another update for you tomorrow morning.

Some fully vaccinated people in critical roles in England, including NHS and care staff, will no longer need to self-isolate if they are a close contact of a positive coronavirus case. Speaking from isolation at his country residence, Prime Minister Boris Johnson told a news conference that workers involved in the supply of food, water, electricity, as well border and railways staff would be among those exempt from quarantine to allow them to work. But he said this would be a “very, very small number of named critical workers”. It comes as firms including Iceland and Greene King say they have had to shut shops and pubs due to staff shortages caused by people being told to isolate by the NHS Covid app.

NHS worker prepares to deliver a vaccine jab

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Children over the age of 12 who are at higher risk of getting ill if they catch coronavirus will be offered the Covid jab, the vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi has confirmed. Most children in the UK, who are low risk, will not be offered the vaccine for now. However, some healthy children over 12 who live with other vulnerable people can have the jab, as well as those on the cusp of turning 18. It means, overall, a few hundred thousand children will be eligible. The decision is based on advice from UK vaccines experts – the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). Read more on which children are being vaccinated and why.

Teen getting jabbed

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Full vaccination will be made a condition of entry to nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather in England from September, under government plans revealed by the PM. Boris Johnson told a news briefing that he was concerned by the “continuing risk” of transmission posed by nightclubs. He said the measures would come in at the end of September – when all over-18s should have been offered both jabs. The latest figures show 35% of 18 to 30-year-olds have still not had both jabs. Currently nightclubs and other crowded venues are only encouraged to ask revellers to show proof of vaccination, a negative test result or immunity.


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The Republic of Ireland has eased its Covid restrictions on international travel, meaning most double-vaccinated passengers do not have to self-isolate. On Monday 19 July, Ireland signed up to the EU Digital Covid Certificate system which gives users proof of vaccination, negative test results or recovery from coronavirus. Passengers arriving in Ireland from outside the EU will not have to quarantine or have travel-related Covid tests provided they can show valid proof of vaccination or proof they have recovered from Covid in the past 180 days. Isolation rules have also been relaxed for fully vaccinated UK passengers.

Passengers at the entrance to Terminal 2 at Dublin Airport

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A man with Covid who has had the longest hospital inpatient stay in the Scottish Borders has urged people to get vaccinated. Scott Drummond, 52, has been receiving treatment for more than 180 days, having caught the virus in January – before he was eligible for the jab. He was in intensive care for three months and said “on three occasions my wife was advised that it looked like I might not make it”. Since then he has been moved to a ward for rehabilitation and ongoing care and has had to learn to speak again. He said anyone who was over 18 and could get the vaccine should do so to “protect yourself and your loved ones”.

Scott Drummond

image copyrightDrummond family

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…you can remind yourself of any changes to rules or restrictions wherever you live, by checking our guide.

Find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.

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Coronavirus UK data chart

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