Covid-19: Islands added to green list and Europe on thin ice

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

1. Islands added to green travel list

Spain’s Balearic Islands, Malta, Madeira and Barbados are among the places being added to the UK’s green travel list – meaning people can return from those countries without needing to quarantine. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced that the destinations will be added to the green list from 04:00 BST on 30 June. All the additions, with the exception of Malta, have also been added to the green watchlist – along with Israel and Jerusalem. This means they are in danger of going from green to amber.

People enjoy warm weather at a beach in Menorca

image copyrightEPA

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2. Europe on ‘thin ice’, warns Merkel

While UK nations are updating their travel lists Europe is bracing itself for a surge from the Delta variant – thought to be between 40% and 60% more transmissible. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned the continent is “on thin ice” and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has said the variant, first identified in India, would account for 90% of EU cases by late August. Mrs Merkel said the rest of the EU should follow Germany’s lead by quarantining arrivals from the UK.

A woman wearing a face mask walks in front of a mask stand in Madrid

image copyrightGetty Images

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3. Chancellor will stop wearing mask as soon as possible

Rishi Sunak has said the situation is looking good for the end of restrictions in England on 19 July, adding that it was his “strong expectation” that society could then “get back to normal”. The chancellor told the Times he expects to stop wearing a face mask “as soon as possible” after it is no longer legally required in England. A decision is set to be made over the next few weeks about the final easing of restrictions.

Rishi Sunak

image copyrightReuters

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4. Lloyd-Webber takes legal action over theatre closures

Andrew Lloyd Webber and other members of the live music industry are taking legal action to force the government to hand over the results of its live event pilot scheme. Test audiences have attended events like the FA Cup final and Download Festival as part of the Events and Research Programme. Organisers had expected the findings to be made public last week but publication was delayed. Lord Lloyd-Webber said the government’s actions were “forcing theatre and music companies off a cliff”.

Crowds in front of the Dominion Theatre with a sign saying The Show Must Go On

image copyrightPA Media

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5. Lockdown hero honoured

A 74-year-old man dubbed the skipping Sikh for starring in exercise videos during lockdown has been made an MBE. Rajinder Singh launched his fitness videos after becoming concerned that members of his community could become isolated due to the Sikh temples closing during the pandemic. He helped raise more than £14,000 for NHS charities and was honoured at St James’s Palace on Wednesday.


Government statistics show 128,048 people have now died, with 19 deaths reported in the latest 24-hour period. In total, 4,684,572 people have tested positive, up 16,703 in the latest 24-hour period. Latest figures show 1,533 people in hospital. In total, 43,656,327 people have received their first vaccination.

And there’s more…

And with the UK’s green travel list being updated, here is a reminder of what you need to know when travelling to some of Europe’s biggest holiday destinations.

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


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