Reports suggest plans to allow quarantine-free travel to amber-list countries for fully vaccinated people could be in place before the end of July.
But the rapid spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19 continues to cause alarm with cases increasing steeply in the key destination of the Balearic islands.
Meanwhile the government has started the winding down of its furlough scheme and is also considering offering booster jabs to vulnerable people in the autumn to give them more protection from the virus this winter.
Ministers plan quarantine-free travel for fully vaccinated by late July
Plans to exempt fully vaccinated Britons from having to quarantine when returning from amber countries could be in place by 26 July, the first full week of the school holidays in England. This move could open up travel to many popular summer destinations such as Spain, Portugal and Greece. (The Times)
Balearic holidays in doubt as Covid cases double in 10 days
Holidays to the Spanish islands, which have just been placed on England’s green watchlist, could be threatened by a spike in Covid cases across destinations including Majorca and Ibiza. The Balearics have this week started vaccinating people aged between 16 and 29 in a bid to stop the spread of infections. (Daily Telegraph)
UK furlough scheme to be wound down
Employers will have to start paying towards the cost of the furlough scheme from Thursday (1 July) as the UK government begins its planned phasing out of the system over the next few months. There are fears this move could lead firms to make more workers redundant with many Covid restrictions still in place. (BBC News)
Delta variant leaves southern Europe struggling to save summer
Countries in southern Europe, such as Spain and Greece, are facing tough decisions on whether to restrict the number of foreign tourists arriving on their shores or risk the rapid spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus this summer. Several countries have already increased their restrictions on UK arrivals this week. (Financial Times)
Millions to get booster jabs in autumn to ‘keep virus at bay’
The government is looking at giving vulnerable and older people a Covid booster vaccine dose in September to try to give them more protection ahead of any potential new waves of the virus breaking out next winter. (Sky News)
British Columbia sees surge in sudden deaths due to extreme heat
Nearly 500 people are reported to have died suddenly in the Canadian province which is suffering from an unprecedented heatwave with temperatures soaring to just under 50 degrees Celsius. The extreme heat in western Canada is being attributed to the impact of global warming on the climate. (The Guardian)