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Coronavirus 1) Big fall in cases suggests third wave has peaked

“Britain is seeing a sustained fall in reported coronavirus cases outside of lockdown for the first time since the pandemic began. In new evidence that the country has passed the peak of its third wave, the number of confirmed infections fell for the fifth consecutive day. Yesterday, 29,173 positive cases were recorded, the first time it had fallen below 30,000 for two weeks and down from a peak of about 50,000 shortly before almost all legal restrictions were lifted in England last Monday. It was also nearly 40 per cent lower than the same figure last Sunday and the first period in which case numbers had consistently fallen since the start of May.” – The Times

  • Public Health England criticised for excluding reinfections from official Covid figures – Daily Telegraph
  • Quarantine from France could end as Covid Beta strain fades after one week – The Times

Analysis:

  • Early days but fall in Covid cases is reason to be cautiously optimistic – The Times

Coronavirus 2) Vaccine passports for work considered by nearly a third of major businesses

“Vaccine passports in the workplace are being considered by nearly a third of major businesses, according to industry surveys. More than 30 per cent of large UK firms have signalled that staff may be asked for proof of vaccination before they can physically return to work. It comes after the Government appeared to suggest that the NHS App should be used by businesses to ensure office workers had received both jabs. In a survey of 1,000 firms conducted by the British Chambers of Commerce, 31 per cent of firms with more than 50 employees suggested they were considering introducing so-called vaccine passports.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Helpline on way for double-jabbed who missed out on vaccine passport – Daily Telegraph
  • Police investigate antivax rally over ‘Nuremberg’ cry – The Times
  • Merkel aide hints at Covid vaccine passports plan – The Times
  • Reluctant Swedes will be paid £17 to have Covid jab – The Times

Coronavirus 3) Javid apologises after saying nation does not need to ‘cower’ from virus

“Sajid Javid has apologised after saying that the nation does not need to “cower” from coronavirus following criticism from those who have lost loved ones. The health secretary described the tweet a “poor choice of word” for which he said he would like to “ sincerely apologise”. Javid said on Saturday he had made a “full recovery” and that his “symptoms were very mild, thanks to amazing vaccines”, of which he had received two doses. “Please, if you haven’t yet, get your jab, as we learn to live with, rather than cower from, this virus,” he wrote on Twitter. Co-founder of Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice Jo Goodman, said Mr Javid’s comments “are deeply insensitive on a number of levels”.” – The Times

Coronavirus 4) Unions battling Government’s plans to end pingdemic

“Union leaders have launched a battle against Government plans to end the pingdemic in a move that threatens a summer of disruption for holidaymakers, shoppers and commuters. Critical workers are able to avoid self isolation via a Government scheme launched amid fears key infrastructure could collapse under the pressure of hundreds of thousands being told to stay at home by the NHS app. However, leaders of the UK’s largest unions are now encouraging key workers, including in transport and food, to ignore the exemption and stay at home, citing fears that they could be exposed to Covid-19 in the workplace, the Telegraph can reveal.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Covid testing won’t prevent food shortages, warn hauliers – The Times

Coronavirus 5) Unjabbed students face ban as ‘raging’ Johnson targets vaccine refuseniks

“University students will have to be fully vaccinated to attend lectures or stay in halls of residence under plans being pushed by Boris Johnson. The prime minister is said to have been “raging” about the relatively low vaccine uptake among young people and is determined to apply pressure. During video meetings with colleagues while in isolation at Chequers last week, he suggested that students in higher and further education settings should face compulsory vaccination, subject to certain medical exemptions. However, The Times has been told that the Department for Education has reservations about the legality and practicability of the plans given that universities are independent and offers to study are legally binding.” – The Times

  • Pushing young to get vaccine ‘risks damaging trust in jab’: Strong-arming people into getting Covid shot could undermine rollout, expert warns – Daily Mail

Douglas Murray: No one’s listening to you any more, Boris – too often the story has changed

THERE were terrible scenes in the UK and around the world this weekend. In multiple cities and countries, members of the public came out to protest the endless rolling lockdowns and vaccine rules. In Australia, mounted police on horseback confronted crowds. In Paris, police fired tear gas. And in London, Manchester and other UK cities, police and demonstrators clashed. In Manchester, a crowd tried to storm a Covid test centre. And in Parliament Square in the capital, arrests were made as police and protesters got into a stand-off. There have inevitably been a fringe of wack jobs and conspiracy theorists at the rallies. People who believe that the virus is not real or only exists as a means to control the population.” – The Sun

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French seek eyes in sky over Channel

“France has asked the European Union border agency to provide airborne surveillance of the Channel in an effort to reduce migrant crossings. Gérald Darmanin, the interior minister, said he wanted Frontex to extend its mission to the fight against people-smuggling along the Channel coast. He urged Belgium and the Netherlands to co-operate, suggesting that neither country was doing enough at present. Darmanin was speaking on a visit to Calais after Priti Patel, the home secretary, pledged a further £54 million for security measures in France to prevent migrants from trying to reach the UK. The French minister said the deal would finance police reinforcements, but also air surveillance, notably drones, and other equipment such as infrared sights.” – The Times

Save women and girls from rise in domestic abuse and sex offences, police told

“Ministers will tell chief constables how their forces should investigate domestic abuse and sex offences under plans being considered to deal with a surge in cases. Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office minister, held talks with colleagues about using existing powers to set minimum standards for police handling allegations of violence against women and girls. Ministers are concerned that investigations take too long and victims are left unsupported. This contributes to the “indefensibly” low level of prosecutions for rape and domestic abuse. Only 1.4 per cent of about 55,000 rape cases reported to the police in England and Wales in 2019-20 resulted in a suspect being charged, while more than 750,000 domestic abuse cases were recorded, with only 47,534 convictions.” – The Times

London sees months worth of rain in three hours flooding tube stations and motorways

“A month’s worth of rain fell in three hours in London, flooding tube stations and forcing drivers on motorways to abandon their cars. Motorists along the A406 were left stranded with emergency services telling some drivers no help would be available until late in the evening as thunderstorms battered the South East. Footage posted on social media on Sunday night showed crews attempting to rescue stranded drivers who risked becoming submerged under rising water levels. A part of the M11 was shut for a time on Sunday after it became flooded.” – Daily Telegraph

House prices have nearly tripled in two decades

“House prices have nearly tripled in the past twenty years, making up for any value homeowners may have lost during the global financial crisis. The average home in Britain is now worth £163,700 more — £106,800 once adjusted for inflation — than it was in 2001, according to research from Zoopla. Buyers who bought their home before the financial crash saw a dip in its value between 2008 and 2012, but these losses have been offset by strong price growth since 2013. Grainne Gilmore, head of research at Zoopla, puts this down to “long-term undersupply [of housing], as well as access to low-cost mortgage finance” due to low interest rates. House prices have risen the most in Kensington and Chelsea in west London, where the average house price is about £1.2 million.” – The Times

Wine-lovers to save £130m as Brexit frees imports from red tape

“Wine-lovers are set to save about £130m per year as the Government uses its new Brexit freedoms to chop EU red tape on imports. Each bottle could become 13p cheaper, according to the industry, thanks to the abolition of the VI-1 forms – a bureaucratic exercise which includes lab tests to verify the acidity of the wine, something which is not done for other drinks such as beer or spirits. The Government is set to scrap the requirement for imports from outside the EU to come with the certificate, and has also abandoned its previous plans to impose the rule on wines coming from the EU to Britain. Officials estimate the saving for consumers at £130m, while the industry believes it will save £100m on non-EU wines and avoid imposing costs of £70m on those from the continent.” – Daily Telegraph

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