Only eight countries would make the government’s green list for safe travel, industry modelling suggests.
So far only Ireland, the US, Iceland, Australia, New Zealand, Malta, Gibraltar and Israel meet what is thought to be the government’s criteria.
Meanwhile, thousands of fans will return to Wembley Stadium on Sunday as part of a lockdown easing test ran by the government.
FA Cup semi-final spectators will be part of a large research project looking at how fans and audiences can safely attend events again, with music events to follow in the coming weeks.
Scotland records no new coronavirus deaths
Scotland has recorded no new coronavirus deaths – though registry offices are typically closed at the weekend.
There were a further 211 cases of coronavirus, the latest daily figures revealed.
Figures showed that 1.6 per cent of tests for Covid-19 came back as positive.
A total of 2,744,231 people have received the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine – an increase of 10,844 on the previous day.
There are now 738,420 have received their second dose, a rise of 22,706 on Saturday’s total.
Samuel Osborne18 April 2021 14:50
Total number of Welsh cases increases by 94
There have been a further 94 cases of coronavirus in Wales, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 210,823.
Public Health Wales said there were three further deaths, taking the total in the country since the start of the pandemic to 5,538.
Meanwhile, the health body said a total of 1,685,298 first doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have now been given in Wales.
The agency said 601,458 second doses have also been administered.
Samuel Osborne18 April 2021 14:30
Don’t underestimate evolutionary capabilities of ‘clever’ coronavirus, scientists warn
The evolutionary capabilities and unpredictability of coronavirus should not be underestimated, scientists have warned, adding that it remains “unknown” how much further the virus will continue to mutate in the months and years to come.
Samuel Osborne18 April 2021 13:58
Traffic light system for international travel poses risk, Sturgeon warns
Progress in bringing Covid-19 under control in the UK must not be undermined by “too lax a position on international travel”, Nicola Sturgeon has warned.
Scotland’s first minister said a traffic light system that allows international travel amid the ongoing pandemic puts the UK at risk from further coronavirus variants that could be faster spreading, more severe or undermine the efficacy of vaccines.
Samuel Osborne18 April 2021 13:15
Welsh Conservatives will consider ending all social distancing measures if elected in May
Andrew RT Davies, the leader of the Welsh Conservative’s in the Senedd, said he would consider ending all social distancing measures in Wales on 21 June were he to become first minister after May’s election.
Mr Davies told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show he would follow Boris Johnson’s lead in ending restrictions on the date “if the science proves that to be the case”.
“In the absence of the Welsh government having a road map that is coherent and delivers for the people of Wales wherever you live, we believe it’s sensible to align those priorities to other parts of the United Kingdom, where the science stacks up,” he said.
“If that proves to be the case on 21 June, that’s what we’d like to do.”
Samuel Osborne18 April 2021 12:37
Gig-goers to attend non-socially distanced pilot event
Gig-goers in Liverpool will get the opportunity to enjoy live music without social distancing or face masks at a pilot event.
The live concert at the Sefton Park on 2 May will not require social distancing, but attendees will need to provide proof of a negative coronavirus test before gaining entry.
The culture secretary, Oliver Dowden said he hoped the Events Research Programme (ERP) test event meant the wait for gigs to return would not be “too much longer”.
Operating slightly below its capacity of 7,500, researchers on site will examine the movements and behaviour of the 5,000-strong crowd at Sefton Park next month.
Samuel Osborne18 April 2021 12:05
Adding India to ‘red list’ being kept ‘under regular review’, Eustice says
Whether India should be added to the government’s ‘red list’ following a rise in coronavirus cases is being kept “under regular review”, George Eustice said earlier.
The environment secretary told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: “Well, we’re allowing people in from India provided they have had a pre-departure test, provided they then quarantine – albeit not in a hotel or a designated facility, but quarantine at home – and then have a test at two and eight days.
“So there are quite a lot of robust tests and checks for anybody coming into the country.
“But, look, we keep this under regular review. We take the advice of the scientific experts on this. If the advice is we should change that and move to the red list we would.”
Samuel Osborne18 April 2021 11:26
Not enough data to classify Indian strain as ‘variant of concern’, Dr Susan Hopkins says
Dr Susan Hopkins told the Andrew Marr Show there was not yet enough data to classify the new Indian strain as a “variant of concern” but that investigations were ongoing.
“We have seen a couple of cases (of the Indian variant) that haven’t arisen from travel but we’re still trying to undergo the investigations to look in great detail at where they might have acquired it from,” the chief medical adviser for NHS Test and Trace said.
“To escalate it up the ranking we need to know that it is increased transmissibility, increased severity or vaccine evading, and we just don’t have that yet.”
Samuel Osborne18 April 2021 11:08
Model suggests ‘green light’ travel list could include only eight countries
New analysis of destinations that might be considered safe countries when England’s foreign travel ban is eased after lockdown suggests there could be as few as eight countries on the so-called ‘green list’, Sean Russell reports.
Samuel Osborne18 April 2021 10:50
‘Too early to say’ whether all hospitality can reopen on 17 May, Eustice says
It is “too early to say” whether all hospitality businesses can open on 17 May, George Eustice has said.
Asked on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show whether the UK is on track for the reopening of all indoor hospitality on 17 May and if this will be dependent on vaccine passports, the Environment Secretary said: “Well, it is too early to say.
“But I think we are on track in the sense that we are on track with the rollout of the vaccination programme.
“We have now vaccinated everybody over the age of 50 and this week they are offering vaccinations as well to those under the age of 50, starting with the 45 to 59-year-olds – so that bit is on track.
“But we are being a bit cautious here. So although we have now got 60 per cent of the adult population vaccinated we do just have to keep a close eye on these variants of concern.
“Also, see what the impacts are of the easements we have just made, the loosenings we have just made, before moving to the next stage.”
Samuel Osborne18 April 2021 10:38