Scientists are urging the government to “rethink” its plans to unlock the country’s final major Covid restrictions on 21 June as concern about a potential “third wave” of Covid-19 infection rises.
Meanwhile, Heathrow finally opens a temporary terminal for arrivals from red list countries, and Brits bask in the sun by flocking to the country’s beaches and parks, leading to “overcrowding” fears in some hotspots.
Speculation is also mounting that some countries could be added to the red list when the government gives its first update on the traffic lights system.
Scientists demand ‘rethink’ on 21 June unlock
Leading scientists are urging the government to delay a decision on whether to remove all remaining Covid restrictions on 21 June, due to fears the Indian variant of the virus could cause a “third wave” of infections. They also called for the rollout of second doses of the vaccines to be speeded up. (The Guardian/The Times)
Red list terminal opens at Heathrow
Heathrow has opened its first dedicated arrivals hall for passengers flying in from red list countries. The new temporary facility, located in Terminal 3, is for people arriving directly from any of the 43 countries currently on the UK’s red list. They are then taken to a government-organised hotel for their quarantine period. (BBC News)
More countries set to be added to red list
Four new countries could be added to the red list during the UK’s update to its traffic lights system in the next few days. Analysis identifies Bahrain, Costa Rica, Trinidad and Tobago, and Kuwait as likely candidates to be added to the red list due to higher infection rates and concerns about new variants. (The Telegraph)
End the holiday Covid test rip-off
MPs, travel bosses and consumer groups have joined a campaign aimed at reducing the current high prices of Covid tests for holidaymakers travelling overseas. The campaign is calling on the government to keep to its promise of “driving down” the cost of PCR tests and also pleads for VAT to be removed from the cost of these tests. (The Daily Mail)
Crowds hit the beach as temperatures soar
Brits flocked to beaches and parks around the UK on bank holiday Monday as temperatures reached their hottest levels of 2021 so far. Scenes of crowded beaches prompted fears of “overcrowding” amid warnings that the pandemic was “not over”. (The Independent)
European airlines face higher pollution costs
Airlines in the EU and UK are set to face higher costs due to a sharp increase in carbon allowance prices which carriers must buy to offset their emissions from flights. (Financial Times)