As at 1st August, a total of 85,196,986 doses have been administered in the UK, with 46,851,145 people receiving a first dose (88.6%) and 38,345,841 people receiving both doses (72.5%). Although everyone over 18 has been able to sign up for a Covid jab in England since mid-June, only two-thirds of 18 to 29-year-olds have so far come forward. In an attempt to boost vaccine take-up in this age group, the government have announced that young people will be offered incentives such as discounted takeaways and car travel to get their jabs provided by such companies as Uber, Bolt and Deliveroo with other organisations expected to support the initiative soon.
The government have announced that double vaccinated frontline NHS and social care staff in England who have been told to self-isolate will be permitted to attend work in exceptional circumstances and replaced by testing mitigations. A limited number of critical workers may also in exceptional circumstances be able to leave self-isolation to attend work if deemed a close contact and informed to do so by their employer. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation is reported to have recommended that all 16 and 17-year-olds should be offered a Covid vaccine and an announcement on this from ministers is imminent.
From 16th August, double vaccinated people will no longer be legally required to self-isolate if they are identified as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case, and will be advised to take a PCR test.
Commencing in September, booster jabs are expected to be rolled out to all adults aged 50 and over with the target of completing the timetable by early December, allowing a fortnight for the final people to be jabbed before Christmas. Proposals have also been drawn up which could see the Covid-19 vaccine administered at the same time as the flu jab, probably with one injection in each arm. In order that GP surgeries can begin getting back to practising medicine in the normal way, it is anticipated that pharmacies will have a large part to play in administering the vaccines.
Foreign travel update
People who have had both doses of an NHS vaccine have been able to avoid quarantine when arriving from amber list countries (except for France) since 19th July, subject to a pre-departure test and a PCR test taken on or before day two after arrival.
From Monday 2nd August, people fully jabbed (two doses) with approved vaccines from the EU or USA do not need to quarantine or take a day 8 test when coming to England from an amber list country (except for France at present). A pre-departure test is still required and a PCR test must be taken on or before day two after arrival. For full details, including the rules for children aged 17 and under and those for people arriving from France, we would recommend looking at the latest government guidance which can be found here.
Also from 2nd August, international cruises will be able to start again from England.
The Prime Minister has now pledged to keep travel rules “as simple as possible” and ministers are expected to update the green, amber and red “traffic lights” list later this week which could possibly see France removed from the amber list.
The relaxation in rules for arrivals in England are not necessarily replicated on arrival in many other countries people may be hoping to visit – and the situation can change at very short notice.
Consequently, if you are contemplating a trip abroad you may care to consult the government’s website (in which you can sign up to receive updates) which can be found here.
Stay well and keep safe and if you require help with shopping or prescriptions, please contact: –
Fr. Peter Mallinson (Bury) 839057 or Ken & Diana Rowsell (West Burton) 83147