Coronavirus vaccines will be offered to millions of people over the age of 70 and the clinically extremely vulnerable from this week as the Government expands its rollout amid a border crackdown to keep out new strains.
More than 3.8 million people in the UK – including over-80s, care home residents, and NHS and social care staff – have already received their first dose of a vaccine, but from today it will be rolled out to the next two priority groups.
The Government said it would remain the priority to vaccinate those in the first two groups, but that sites that have enough supply and capacity to vaccinate more people will be allowed to offer jabs to the next cohorts.
Boris Johnson has pledged to offer vaccinations to the first four priority groups by the middle of February, while Dominic Raab said on Sunday that all adults would be offered a first dose by September.
Follow the latest updates below.
Travellers could face GPS tracking in crackdown on breaches
Travellers could face GPS tracking in a bid to crackdown on breaches of quarantine, Dominic Raab indicated on Sunday.
The Foreign Secretary refused to rule out the use of GPS data to establish if people were staying at the address they put on their locator form when they entered the UK.
He also confirmed that the Government was considering quarantine hotels where travellers would be required to stay and pick up the bill, as happens with New Zealand’s policy of “directed isolation” and Australia where arrivals self-isolating are charged between £1,500 and £2,500.
New travel quarantine rule kicks off
The expanded Covid-19 vaccination rollout arrives as a ban on quarantine-free travel into the UK came into force at 4am in a bid to keep out new coronavirus strains – such as those that have been discovered in Brazil and South Africa.
The new rules mean arrivals from every destination will need to self-isolate for 10 days, or receive a negative result from a coronavirus test taken at least five days after they enter the UK.
Passengers flying in from overseas will now also have to show proof of a negative Covid test before setting off.
The Foreign Secretary said on Sunday that checks at the border would be strengthened as the new measures came into effect, and vowed to “beef up” capacity to ensure people are adhering to quarantine rules.
But the Government faced criticism from Professor John Edmunds, a member of the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), who said the approach to quarantining foreign arrivals and contacts of coronavirus cases had been “pretty lax” so far.
Today’s top stories
- Boris Johnson has hailed a new “milestone” in the race to vaccinate the country, as more than five and a half million more people will be invited to get their jabs from Monday.
- Mass testing of entire regions is being considered by ministers to help get the country out of lockdown, it has emerged, as Dominic Raab said restrictions could start to be eased in March.
- Almost a third of recovered Covid patients will end up back in hospital within five months and one in eight will die, alarming new figures have shown.
- A patient is being admitted to hospital with coronavirus “every thirty seconds”, the chief executive of NHS England has said.
- Plans to rollout Covid vaccinations 24/7 are being resisted by management consultants paid by the Government to speed up the programme, The Telegraph can disclose.
- Up to a fifth of care home staff are refusing to be vaccinated, it has emerged, with many younger workers believing they are “invincible” to the disease.
- All supermarkets face inspections in the next fortnight to ensure they are Covid-secure, as health chiefs warned “one-shopper” rules may be needed to stop family outings to stores.
- Another plane-load of incoming Australian Open players will have to serve out a strict quarantine in Melbourne, because of a positive Covid test in their midst. This takes the total number of players who cannot leave their hotel for the next fortnight to 72.