he UK is urging the US to drop its travel restrictions for British visitors following an announcement the border would be opened to Europeans and Americans.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps on Wednesday announced that fully-vaccinated visitors from the EU and US would not have to quarantine after August 2.
Non-US citizens are currently banned from entering the US from the UK. According to the Telegraph diplomatic pressure is being applied to the US to change this.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told Sky News he had been contacted by overseas ministers saying “we’ve noticed this announcement what can we do to do this on a reciprocal basis”.
It comes as Australia’s biggest city has posted the highest number of Covid cases in a single day since the pandemic began.
Despite lockdown being extended by a month in Sydney the city recorded 239 locally acquired cases in the past 24 hours.
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Of the 295,315 people transferred to the Test and Trace system in the week to July 21, 14.8 per cent were not reached and therefore could not be asked to provide details of recent close contacts.
This is the highest proportion of people not reached since the week to October 14 2020.
Some 85.1 per cent were reached, while 0.1 per cent did not provide any communication details.
A total of 307,758 people tested positive for Covid-19 in England at least once in the week to July 21
This is up 18 per cent on the previous week, according to the latest Test and Trace figures.
It is the highest number since the week to January 13.
Another 590,000 people were removed from the Government’s furlough programme in June, as the scheme will taper off further this weekend
Official data shows that 1.9 million people were still furloughed by the end of June, a reduction from 2.4 million a month earlier
June’s numbers are the last before the scheme started to shift more of the burden from the Treasury to companies.
In July, employers had to pick up 10 per cent of their employees’ salaries, while Government support dropped from 80 per cent to 70 per cent.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has said guidance on whether students will have to be double jabbed to return to university will be available in September
Asked on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme whether double vaccination will be advisory or compulsory for students returning to halls of residence in September, he said: “When we come to the crunch these decisions will be taken in September.”
He added: “We have, right the way through this pandemic, had to take advice and decisions based on the evidence as we see it. We will certainly make sure university students have advanced warning, of course we are going to be mindful of that.”
The Foreign Secretary has said the UK will be “safer” once it has given away its excess Covid vaccine supplies to poorer countries
Raab told Sky News: “At the start of the pandemic, when we did our vaccine programme, we secured multiple sources and supplies and overall the volume of vaccines to make sure we had security of supply.
“We have already given a huge amount through Covax, through the financing of Covax, but we can now, from domestic supply, start to give 100 million, which will get the world vaccinated.
“We have got moral reasons for doing that. You look at Jamaica, Laos, Cambodia, some of the countries – Kenya – we are vaccinating and we feel a sense of moral responsibility.
“But we also know, bluntly, that we are safer when the rest of the world is safer, whether it is for people going on holiday or whether it is just the ordinary course of international trade that we need and we rely on.”
Raab has rejected suggestions that rapid testing alone could be used to release travellers to the UK from quarantine
On Wednesday Government adviser and immunologist Professor Sir John Bell said data had shown from January that testing could be used to release travellers to the UK from self-isolation on arrival.
Responding on why testing could not be used immediately to ease international travel restrictions, Mr Raab told Sky News: “We are doing daily testing, but I think the answer to your question ‘why do it now not in say, two-and-a-half weeks’ time?’ is we know and we can project how many people broadly we’ll have double vaccinated and that is the level of reassurance we want to get to.
“I know it has been frustrating, I know it has been an inconvenience, there’s been lots of things in this pandemic that have been inconvenient.
“But the truth is the whole tide – whether it is domestic restrictions, international – is going in the right direction of opening but we do need to just be careful, make sure we are doing it at the right time.”
Raab has said there is the “right level of security and assurance” to let travellers from the US and EU into the country without coronavirus restrictions
He told Sky News: “We keep an eye on the variants, but because of the 70 per cent double vaccination of our population and because we are insisting only people from the US, the EU and perhaps in due course, as we build up confidence in the system other countries, we proceed on that basis.
“Because it is people who are double vaccinated we believe we have got the right level of security and assurance against people who might be at risk of a variant coming in from abroad.”
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab says he has been contacted by overseas ministers following Wednesday’s decision to relax border rules for fully vaccinated visitors from the EU and US.
He told Sky News: “Overnight foreign ministers messaged me saying we’ve noticed this announcement what can we do to do this on a reciprocal basis.”
Mr Raab said it was important the UK opened up to countries with a “high trust in the mechanism for verifying double vaccinated”.
Federal workers will need vaccine or proof of testing, Biden to announce
President Joe Biden will announce Thursday that millions of federal workers must show proof they’ve received a coronavirus vaccine or submit to regular testing and stringent social distancing, masking and travel restrictions.
An individual familiar with the president’s plans, who spoke on condition of anonymity to confirm details that had yet to be announced publicly, emphasized that the new guidance is not a vaccine mandate for federal employees and that those who decide not to get vaccinated aren’t at risk of being fired.
Alarm in Japan as Tokyo cases continue to grow
Japanese officials sounded alarm Thursday after Tokyo reported record-breaking coronavirus cases for two straight days with the Olympics well underway.
“We have never experienced the expansion of the infections of this magnitude,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told reporters. He said the new cases were soaring not only in the Tokyo area but across the country.
Tokyo reported 3,177 new cases on Wednesday, up from 2,848 on Tuesday, setting an all-time high and exceeding 3,000 for the first time.
Originally Appeared On: https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/covid-latest-updates-us-travel-uk-restrictions-green-list-vaccine-news-b948180.html