Coronavirus UK news LIVE – Canary Islands & Majorca could be added to UK travel green list on June 7

THE Canary Islands and Majorca could be added to the UK travel green list next month, a government minister has said.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the new additions, including the Greek and Balearic islands – could be announced from June 7 amid calls to extend the list of safe destinations.

At present, people from England can holiday in green list countries without having to quarantine on their return – but operators and airlines have been pushing to be allowed to fly to holiday islands when the rest of the country is on the amber list.

Meanwhile Matt Hancock will host a press conference at 5pm today after Dominic Cummings claimed he lied to colleagues.

The ex No 10 aide yesterday insisted Boris did DID say he’d rather ‘let the bodies pile high’ rather than have third lockdown – and claimed 'criminal' Mr Hancock should've been fired at least 15 times

During PMQs yesterday Mr Johnson slapped down claims he'd failed the nation after his ex-aide Dominic Cummings launched an extraordinary broadside at him over his Covid failings.

He told MPs: "I take full responsibility for everything that has happened. I am truly sorry for the suffering the people of this country experiences. But the government acted throughout with the intention to save lives, protect the NHS and in accordance with the best scientific advice."

Read our coronavirus live blog below for the latest news and updates…

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    AN APOLOGY FROM CUMMINGS ‘ISN’T GOING TO CUT IT’, SAYS BEREAVED SON

    A bereaved 18-year-old son has said an apology from Dominic Cummings about the Government’s handling of the pandemic “isn’t going to cut it”.

    The Prime Minister’s former adviser said tens of thousands of people died unnecessarily because of the Government’s failings over coronavirus.

    Speaking to MPs on Wednesday, Mr Cummings apologised, saying that ministers, officials and advisers had fallen “disastrously short” of the standards they should expect in a crisis.

    Bereaved family members, including a wife, son and daughter, said listening to Mr Cummings’ testimony was “horrific”.

    “I believe Cummings apologised but an apology isn’t going to cut it, they need to do much better,” Mert Dogus, 18, told the PA news agency.

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    NO FURTHER COVID DEATHS IN NORTHERN IRELAND

    There have been no further deaths of patients who had previously tested positive for Covid-19 in Northern Ireland.

    However, another 84 positive cases were confirmed by the region's Department of Health.

    On Thursday morning there were 27 Covid-positive patients in hospital, of whom two were in intensive care.

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    INNOCENT TILL PROVEN GUILTY

    Conservative chairman of the Health and Social Care Committee Jeremy Hunt said that, until such evidence is provided, Dominic Cummings’ “allegations should be treated as unproven”.

    He said: “At yesterday’s joint select committee hearing, serious allegations were made. We asked for evidence to be provided and until such evidence is provided those allegations should be treated as unproven.

    “In the meantime, we are in the midst of a pandemic and we need the Health Secretary to be doing his job with his customary energy and commitment.”

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    WATCH: PHILIP SCHOFIELD CALLS DOMINIC CUMMINGS' EVIDENCE 'A HATCHET JOB'

    This Morning’s Phillip Schofield lashes out at Dominic Cummings calling PM’s ex-adviser ‘dishonest’ and saying his testimony was a ‘hatchet job’

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    IRISH 80% VACCINATION TARGET 'LIKELY TO BE MISSED'

    The Government is "likely" to miss its target of 80% of Ireland's adult population receiving at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine by the end of June due to supply issues, the Irish deputy prime minister said.

    However, Leo Varadkar told the Irish parliament that if the target is missed it will only be by "a few weeks".

    His comments came after Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said it is "unclear" whether the Government will be able to reach its target due to "serious concerns" over the supply of the Janssen vaccine.

    During Leaders' Questions, Varadkar described the vaccination programme as going "really well", adding that supply is the "only constraint".

    The Fine Gael leader said the target has "always been subject to supplies arriving on time".

    "If the supplies do not arrive on time, well, then there is a risk that we will miss those targets, and that does now appear to be likely," Varadkar said.

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    CAUSE OF BLOOD CLOTS LINKED TO ASTRAZENECA AND J&J COVID VACCINES ‘SOLVED’

    BOFFINS claim to have cracked the cause of rare blood clots linked to Covid jabs and say they know how to solve it.

    They say the phenomenon is caused by “floating mutant proteins” which occur when the spike protein of the Sars-Cov-2 virus is sent into the wrong part of a cell.

    Lead scientist Rolf Marschalek said US drugs firm Johnson & Johnson has already been in touch to ask about his team’s research at the Goethe University in Frankfurt. But he said he had not yet discussed its findings with AstraZeneca, manufacturer of the Oxford vaccine.

    He said: “They never contacted us so we never spoke to them, but if they do I can tell them what to do to make a better vaccine.”

    Both the AstraZeneca or Johnson and Johnson jabs have been linked to a small number of severe blood clots.

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    DOMINIC CUMMINGS’ EVIDENCE: SOME OF THE KEY CLAIMS

    • Official inquiry needs to be held sooner as ‘tens of thousands of people died who did not need to die’
    • Boris Johnson compared the virus to swine flu and suggested he should be injected with Covid-19 live on TV to prove it was not dangerous
    • Cummings told PM he must fire Matt Hancock for lying on multiple occasions including telling Cabinet people who would be tested before being sent back to care homes
    • ‘Lions led by donkeys’ – there were great people working on the response but the top leadership were not up to the job
    • There was no ‘sense of urgency’ about the pandemic until late February
    • Former adviser said he drove hundreds of miles to Durham while suffering from Covid because of security threats to his family

    WHAT DOMINIC CUMMINGS SAID ABOUT MATT HANCOCK

    Dominic Cummings was severely critical of the conduct of the Health Secretary during the pandemic:

    • He said Hancock should have been fired for “at least 15,20 things” including “lying to everybody on multiple occasions”.
    • Cummings said Hancock blamed the failure to produce enough PPE on NHS Chief Executive Simon Stevens and the Treasury
    • Cummings claims then Cabinet Secretary Lord Sedwill began to question Hancock’s honesty
    • Cummings accused Hancock of “criminal, disgraceful behaviour that caused serious harm” by pushing his 100k a day testing target while the PM was “on his deathbed”
    • Cummings said Hancock told people to push 100k a day target even though Whitehall told him to drop it
    • Cummings said Lord Sedwill sent up the ‘Test and Trace system’ as a separate entity to take it away from Hancock

    HANCOCK CONTINUED…

    Health Secretary Matt Hancock told MPs: “We have many challenges as a nation still to come, I know, and one of the things I’ve learned is the best way through is to work together with a can-do spirit of positive collaboration.

    “The team who have worked so hard together to get us this far deserve our highest praise.

    “I am proud of everyone in my department, all those working in healthcare and in public health, the armed forces who fought on this home front, the volunteers who stood in cold car parks with a smile, colleagues across the House who have done their bit, and most of all the British people.

    “Whether it’s the science or the NHS or people queuing for vaccines in their droves, Britain is rising to this challenge. We have come together as one nation and we will overcome.”

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      MATT HANCOCK SAYS HE HAS ALWAYS BEEN “STRAIGHT WITH PEOPLE ABOUT PANDEMIC”

      Health Secretary Matt Hancock says he has always been “straight with people and straight with the House of Commons” about the challenges the country faced in tackling the pandemic.

      Addressing MPs after Dominic Cummings’ explosive claims yesterday, Hancock said the claims were untrue and he has been “straight with people in public and private”.

      He said he “wakes up everyday” thinking about how to fight the pandemic.

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      CASES OF NEW YORKSHIRE COVID VARIANT DOUBLE AS ‘CONCERNING MIX OF 25 MUTATIONS’ PROBED

      A NEW Covid variant that emerged in Yorkshire shows how rapidly the virus is evolving to evade vaccines, experts have warned.

      Named AV.1, there have been only 49 cases of the strain confirmed so far.

      Read more here.

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      STURGEON: DROP IN COVID HOSPITAL ADMISSIONS AND ICU PATIENTS ARE "REASONS TO BE OPTIMISTIC"

      Nicola Sturgeon has hailed a reduction in hospital cases of coronavirus and another small drop in the number of patients in ICU as "reasons to be optimistic".

      She began First Minister's Questions on Thursday by saying there have been 464 new Covid-19 cases reported in the last 24 hours, representing 1.8% of all tests taken.

      Sturgeon said the Scottish Government wants to get Glasgow back on track "as quickly as possible, but that's got to be done responsibly and safely".

      The city is the only part of Scotland still under Level 3 restrictions.

      Sturgeon said: "We see a reduction in hospital cases today, and a small reduction in ICU cases, so there are reasons to be optimistic there, but we've got to continue – in the interest of business and in the interest of everybody – to take careful and cautious decisions to get the whole country back to normality."

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      BUSINESS CONFIDENCE UP IN SCOTLAND

      Business confidence has once again grown to the highest level since before the coronavirus pandemic, with more Scottish firms now expecting to hire staff over the next year.

      The Bank of Scotland's latest business barometer measuring industry confidence has recorded its highest level of optimism since February 2020.

      Scottish business confidence rose by six percentage points in May to 15%, while a net balance of 8% are now expecting to increase staff levels – up 17 points from April and the first positive rating since the pandemic.

      The survey of 1,200 UK companies, including 95 in Scotland, compares the percentage of firms that are positive or negative in outlook to calculate the balance of opinion.

      Companies in Scotland reported higher confidence in their own business prospects month-on-month, up five percentage points at 10%.

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      WATCH: COVID CASES REACH 3,000 AMID CALLS FOR TIGHER RESTRICTIONS

      UK Covid cases reach 3,000 for first time in a MONTH sparking calls for TIGHTER restrictions

       

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      RYANAIR BOSS ACCUSES IRISH GOVERNMENT OF DOING 'UNTOLD DAMAGE' TO AVIATION

      Ryanair's boss has accused the Irish government of bringing "untold damage" on the aviation and tourism sector.

      Chief executive Michael O'Leary also criticised transport minister Eamon Ryan for having no "plan, policy or commitment" on aviation.

      The airline boss made the comments after he called on the Government to announce an "immediate rescue plan" for Irish aviation and tourism.

      On Friday, the Government is to confirm its plan to ease more restrictions in June and July.

      Taoiseach Micheal Martin will announce details on the full reopening of the hospitality sector, international travel and sports and cultural events.

      O'Leary called for Martin to restore the UK Common Travel Area on June 1, describing it as "bizarre and untenable" that UK visitors arriving into the Republic have to undergo quarantine.

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      MATT HANCOCK SAYS HE HAS ALWAYS BEEN “STRAIGHT WITH PEOPLE ABOUT PANDEMIC”

      Health Secretary Matt Hancock says he has always been “straight with people and straight with the House of Commons” about the challenges the country faced in tackling the pandemic.

      Addressing MPs after Dominic Cummings’ explosive claims yesterday, Hancock said the claims were untrue and he has been “straight with people in public and private”.

      He said he “wakes up everyday” thinking about how to fight the pandemic.

    • [email protected]

      DOMINIC CUMMINGS’ EVIDENCE: SOME OF THE KEY CLAIMS

      • Official inquiry needs to be held sooner as ‘tens of thousands of people died who did not need to die’
      • Boris Johnson compared the virus to swine flu and suggested he should be injected with Covid-19 live on TV to prove it was not dangerous
      • Cummings told PM he must fire Matt Hancock for lying on multiple occasions including telling Cabinet people who would be tested before being sent back to care homes
      • ‘Lions led by donkeys’ – there were great people working on the response but the top leadership were not up to the job
      • There was no ‘sense of urgency’ about the pandemic until late February
      • Former adviser said he drove hundreds of miles to Durham while suffering from Covid because of security threats to his family

      CAUSE OF BLOOD CLOTS LINKED TO ASTRAZENECA AND J&J COVID VACCINES ‘SOLVED’

      BOFFINS claim to have cracked the cause of rare blood clots linked to Covid jabs and say they know how to solve it.

      They say the phenomenon is caused by “floating mutant proteins” which occur when the spike protein of the Sars-Cov-2 virus is sent into the wrong part of a cell.

      Lead scientist Rolf Marschalek said US drugs firm Johnson & Johnson has already been in touch to ask about his team’s research at the Goethe University in Frankfurt. But he said he had not yet discussed its findings with AstraZeneca, manufacturer of the Oxford vaccine.

      He said: “They never contacted us so we never spoke to them, but if they do I can tell them what to do to make a better vaccine.”

      Both the AstraZeneca or Johnson and Johnson jabs have been linked to a small number of severe blood clots.

      WATCH: JOE BIDEN URGES U.S. SPIES TO INVESTIGATE COVID LEAK THEORY

      INNOCENT TILL PROVEN GUILTY

      Conservative chairman of the Health and Social Care Committee Jeremy Hunt said that, until such evidence is provided, Dominic Cummings' "allegations should be treated as unproven".

      He said: "At yesterday's joint select committee hearing, serious allegations were made. We asked for evidence to be provided and until such evidence is provided those allegations should be treated as unproven.

      "In the meantime, we are in the midst of a pandemic and we need the Health Secretary to be doing his job with his customary energy and commitment."

      CASES OF NEW YORKSHIRE COVID VARIANT DOUBLE AS ‘CONCERNING MIX OF 25 MUTATIONS’ PROBED

      A NEW Covid variant that emerged in Yorkshire shows how rapidly the virus is evolving to evade vaccines, experts have warned.

      Named AV.1, there have been only 49 cases of the strain confirmed so far.

      Read more here.

      • [email protected]

        WHAT DOMINIC CUMMINGS SAID ABOUT MATT HANCOCK

        Dominic Cummings was severely critical of the conduct of the Health Secretary during the pandemic:

        • He said Hancock should have been fired for “at least 15,20 things” including “lying to everybody on multiple occasions”.
        • Cummings said Hancock blamed the failure to produce enough PPE on NHS Chief Executive Simon Stevens and the Treasury
        • Cummings claims then Cabinet Secretary Lord Sedwill began to question Hancock’s honesty
        • Cummings accused Hancock of “criminal, disgraceful behaviour that caused serious harm” by pushing his 100k a day testing target while the PM was “on his deathbed”
        • Cummings said Hancock told people to push 100k a day target even though Whitehall told him to drop it
        • Cummings said Lord Sedwill sent up the ‘Test and Trace system’ as a separate entity to take it away from Hancock

        HANCOCK CONTINUED…

        Health Secretary Matt Hancock told MPs: "We have many challenges as a nation still to come, I know, and one of the things I've learned is the best way through is to work together with a can-do spirit of positive collaboration.

        "The team who have worked so hard together to get us this far deserve our highest praise.

        "I am proud of everyone in my department, all those working in healthcare and in public health, the armed forces who fought on this home front, the volunteers who stood in cold car parks with a smile, colleagues across the House who have done their bit, and most of all the British people.

        "Whether it's the science or the NHS or people queuing for vaccines in their droves, Britain is rising to this challenge. We have come together as one nation and we will overcome."

        MATT HANCOCK SAYS HE HAS ALWAYS BEEN "STRAIGHT WITH PEOPLE ABOUT PANDEMIC"

        Health Secretary Matt Hancock says he has always been "straight with people and straight with the House of Commons" about the challenges the country faced in tackling the pandemic.

        Addressing MPs after Dominic Cummings' explosive claims yesterday, Hancock said the claims were untrue and he has been "straight with people in public and private".

        He said he "wakes up everyday" thinking about how to fight the pandemic.

        DOMINIC CUMMINGS’ EVIDENCE: SOME OF THE KEY CLAIMS

        • Official inquiry needs to be held sooner as ‘tens of thousands of people died who did not need to die’
        • Boris Johnson compared the virus to swine flu and suggested he should be injected with Covid-19 live on TV to prove it was not dangerous
        • Cummings told PM he must fire Matt Hancock for lying on multiple occasions including telling Cabinet people who would be tested before being sent back to care homes
        • ‘Lions led by donkeys’ – there were great people working on the response but the top leadership were not up to the job
        • There was no ‘sense of urgency’ about the pandemic until late February
        • Former adviser said he drove hundreds of miles to Durham while suffering from Covid because of security threats to his family

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