COVID cases in the UK have hit the highest level in almost five months as another 16,703 infections have been recorded.
The total number of cases since the pandemic began last year now stands at 4,684,572.
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Thousands of new cases have been recorded in the UK in the latest 24-hour period[/caption]
Today’s rise in infections is the highest number of daily cases in almost five months[/caption]
Today’s rise in infections is the highest number of daily cases in almost five months since February 6 when 18,262 were reported.
The figure is also higher than yesterday’s tally of 16,135 as the Delta variant continues to grip the UK.
It means more than 85,000 new infections have been recorded across the nation in the last seven days.
Deaths also rose by 21 in the latest 24-hour period – bringing the total to 128,048 – which is higher than yesterday’s 19 fatalities.
Last Thursday, 10,730 cases were recorded, along with nine deaths.
Meanwhile, a total of 75,564,430 vaccinations in the UK have been administered with 31,908,103 people receiving two doses.
BIG HOLIDAY ANNOUNCEMENT
It comes as Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is tonight expected to announce a new additions to the green list, including Malta, Madeira, and Balearic Islands.
There are currently 11 countries and territories on the green list for England – after Portugal was removed from the list on June 3.
And in more good news, The Sun can reveal family holidays abroad could cost £500 less under plans to slash the number of expensive tests faced by double-jabbed Brits on their return.
Instead of up to three, they may need just one.
Brits continue to wear face coverings despite ministers saying masks will be ditched[/caption]
Millions of young people have had their first jabs in recent days[/caption]
Speaking today, the PM said there’s a “real opportunity” to reopen favourite destinations to sun seekers thanks to the UK’s stellar vaccine rollout.
“I think that the real opportunity we all have now is to open up travel through the double jab,” Boris said.
“If you look at it we’ve got more than 60 per cent of our population have now had two jabs and 83 per cent of that one jab.
“We’re really getting through it now. The crucial thing is come forward and get your second jab.
“I’m not going to claim that this summer for travel purposes is going to be like any other summer.
“I don’t want to cook cast a pall over things, but it will be different.”
Members of the public queue to enter a Covid testing centre in Kendal, Cumbria[/caption]
Shapps and Chancellor Rishi Sunak want to open up travel again from the July 19 Freedom Day.
But they are battling Mr Hancock, Home Secretary Priti Patel, and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.
The trio believe the new scheme shouldn’t start until August and even then it should be made as hard as possible for Brits to go away this summer.
Last night, a Government source told The Sun: “We want to get things moving, but the usual suspects want to be more cautious.”
And Angela Merkel is now lobbying European countries to shut their frontiers to the UK to stop the spread of the Indian variant.
Merkel raged: “In our country if you come from Great Britain you have to go into quarantine.
“That’s not the case in every European country and that’s what I’d like to see.”
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Germany has an inferior jabs roll-out and higher daily death rate, while 60 per cent of Brits are double jabbed.
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has said the Delta variant is already taking hold on the continent.
It predicts that by the end of August a massive 90 per cent of new cases across bloc will be down to the new strain.