Covid-19: Minister defends travel rules, and the piano prodigy flourishing in the pandemicon August 5, 2021 at 4:24 pm

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

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

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has defended changes to England’s travel lists, with thousands of British tourists in Mexico facing new quarantine rules if they return to the UK after Sunday’s deadline. British Airways said staff had worked “through the night” to add more seats to flights from Mexico, which is being added to the red list. Mr Shapps said the lists will now be reviewed every three weeks so people can travel “without looking over their shoulders”.

Tourists wearing a mask walk along Caleta beach on March 19 2021 in Acapulco, Mexico

image sourceGetty Images

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The number of NHS Covid-19 app alerts fell significantly in England and Wales in the last week of July, official statistics show. Nearly 396,000 people were pinged – down from the previous week’s record of 690,129. The figures were collected before changes to the app were made, resulting in it now notifying fewer close contacts.

Stock image of a young woman wearing a face mask and holding a smartphone

image sourceGetty Images

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A man who died with Covid after refusing to be vaccinated “paid the ultimate price” for his “terrible mistake”, his partner has said. Leslie Lawrenson, 58, died at his home in Bournemouth, Dorset, on 2 July. His partner Amanda Mitchell, 56, who was seriously ill with Covid at the same time, said he thought the vaccines were too “experimental”. She told the Stephen Nolan programme on BBC Radio 5 live: “I feel incredibly foolish. Les died unnecessarily.”

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Firefighters in Scotland have been driving ambulances because of high levels of demand and staff shortages caused by the pandemic. The Scottish Ambulance Service said it was facing “significant pressure” from the easing of Covid restrictions and staff having to self isolate. The British Red Cross has also transported a small number of patients.

Ambulance

image sourceScience Photo Library

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When Brigitte Xie’s parents signed her up for piano classes during the pandemic, they just wanted to keep her busy. Now, she’s become the youngest winner of the prestigious Elite International Music Competition and has been invited to play at Carnegie Hall.

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The UK’s travel rules are changing from Sunday. Find out what that means if you’re planning to go abroad.

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

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