Covid England: Week-on-week spike in infections drops for sixth day in a row

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Britain’s recent surge in Covid cases may be showing signs of slowing, official data suggested today — despite fears the outbreak could breach 100,000 infections a day within a fortnight.

Department of Health bosses posted 32,551 new infections, up 16.3 per cent on last Thursday. But today is the sixth day in a row the rise in the seven-day average for cases — 34.92 per cent — has fallen, down from 42.81 per cent yesterday.

But experts fear the promising trend could be sent into reverse with England’s Euro 2020 final against Italy on Sunday night.

Millions of fans desperate to see the Three Lions compete in the final of their first major tournament since 1966 will pack together in pubs to watch the historic match, which scientists say will undoubtedly trigger a fresh surge in cases.

Government data also showed hospital admissions are continuing to accelerate, with 456 admissions registered on Sunday — the most recent date data is available for — up 75.4 per cent on the previous week’s figure of 260. 

And 35 Covid deaths were recorded today, compared to 22 last Thursday. 

Both measures will continue to rise in line with infections for several weeks but ministers are convinced vaccines will prevent the third wave from being reminiscent of the deadly scenes seen last spring and in January. Although Government scientists also believe cases will begin to tail off next month.

Professor Tim Spector, who runs Britain’s largest Covid symptom tracking study, said that while the virus is ‘not done with us’, there are already signs the third wave is rounding off. 

In other signs of promise, data highlighting the ‘vaccine effect’ on transmission also shows infections across England are still 13 times higher in young people compared to the over-60s.  

It comes amid growing fears millions of users will be ‘pinged’ and told to self-isolate every week after ‘Freedom Day’, with data showing 350,000 alerts were sent out during the final seven-day spell of June — a 60 per cent rise in a week. 

Boris Johnson today urged the nation not to delete the NHS app and to stick with it ‘for a little bit longer’. The Prime Minister said the ‘day is not too far off’ when contacts of positive cases will no longer have to self-isolate, with the current approach to quarantine coming to an end from the middle of next month. 

King's College London scientists estimated there were 33,000 new symptomatic infections a day last week, the second time they had risen by a third in two weeks. Professor Tim Spector said the results suggested the outbreak may be slowing

King’s College London scientists estimated there were 33,000 new symptomatic infections a day last week, the second time they had risen by a third in two weeks. Professor Tim Spector said the results suggested the outbreak may be slowing

PHE's weekly update also revealed that every local authority in England saw a rise in Covid infections last week except three, as the third wave of infections continues to surge. The three areas where infections dropped were Blackburn with Darwen, where there is a suggestion the outbreak may have already peaked after it was hit hard by the Indian variant, Wokingham and Salford

PHE’s weekly update also revealed that every local authority in England saw a rise in Covid infections last week except three, as the third wave of infections continues to surge. The three areas where infections dropped were Blackburn with Darwen, where there is a suggestion the outbreak may have already peaked after it was hit hard by the Indian variant, Wokingham and Salford

Public Health England's weekly surveillance report showed that in the week ending July 4, rates were highest among people in their twenties who have only recently been offered a jab, at 614 cases per 100,000. The case rate among over-60s, most of whom have been double-jabbed, was just 47 per 100,000 and even lower in older age groups, at 36.5 per 100,000 in the over-70s and 28 in the over-80s

Public Health England’s weekly surveillance report showed that in the week ending July 4, rates were highest among people in their twenties who have only recently been offered a jab, at 614 cases per 100,000. The case rate among over-60s, most of whom have been double-jabbed, was just 47 per 100,000 and even lower in older age groups, at 36.5 per 100,000 in the over-70s and 28 in the over-80s

Covid case rates in all regions of England are at their highest level since at least February, according to the latest surveillance report. North East England is recording the highest rate, with 613.4 cases per 100,000 people in the seven days to July 4. This is the highest rate for the region since comparable figures began in summer 2020, when mass testing was first introduced across the country. All other regions are recording their highest rate since late January or early February this year, except for Yorkshire and the Humber where the rate is the highest since mid-November last year at 340. Cases are also up in every age group

Covid case rates in all regions of England are at their highest level since at least February, according to the latest surveillance report. North East England is recording the highest rate, with 613.4 cases per 100,000 people in the seven days to July 4. This is the highest rate for the region since comparable figures began in summer 2020, when mass testing was first introduced across the country. All other regions are recording their highest rate since late January or early February this year, except for Yorkshire and the Humber where the rate is the highest since mid-November last year at 340. Cases are also up in every age group

UK’s Covid crisis is already ‘slowing down’, symptom study claims 

Covid is ‘not done with us’ but there are already signs the third wave is slowing down, one of the country’s top experts revealed today. 

Professor Tim Spector, who runs Britain’s largest Covid symptom tracking study, said there were 33,000 people falling ill with the virus every day last week — up by a third on the previous seven days.

But it is the second week in a row that cases have risen by a similar amount, prompting him to believe that data suggests the third wave may already be slowing down.   

Outbreaks in Scotland and the North West of England —  regions which quickly became hotspots for the Indian ‘Delta’ variant — have plateaued, estimates suggest, and in the East of England cases are already coming down.

More than two thirds of daily cases are now among Britons who have not been jabbed. Cases appeared to be rising quickest among the vaccinated, but experts insisted they were still suffering a mild form of disease like a ‘bad cold’. Official figures show more than eight in ten adults have received at least one dose so far. 

Professor Spector, a King’s College London epidemiologist, warned that the peak of the third wave was still to come. The Government admitted this week that it anticipated more than 100,000 cases per day at the peak in August. 

‘While the rate of increase seems to be slowing down, we’re yet to reach the peak of this latest wave,’ he said. ‘Even though we’re doping away with Covid restrictions in the UK, Covid isn’t done with us.’

Thousands of jubilant fans were pictured tightly packed together leaving Wembley last night as supporters across the nation gathered to celebrate the Three Lions victory over Denmark.

But experts warned England’s most successful international tournament since 1966 could cause a fresh surge in infections, as people meet up in large groups to watch the historic match on Sunday night. 

Dr Pagel said: ‘The worry about the finals at Wembley — and the matches that have gone before — are about more than just the event. It’s the celebrations before and after in pubs, with hugging shouting, singing in crowds — all high risk activities for transmission

‘This isn’t just about the fans attending the match but the millions of fans watching across the country in pubs and each other’s homes. So while it’s amazing watching England do so well, there’s no doubt in my mind it will lead to increases in Covid infections.’ 

And Professor Martin McKee, an expert in public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said the virus was less likely to spread at the match itself — the greatest risk was posed by fans celebrating in packed bars and congregating on public transport.

More than 66,000 people packed the stands in Wembley’s biggest post-pandemic crowd during England’s 2-1 victory over Denmark, with all supporters told to stay in their seat throughout the game, keep their coverings on whenever they stood up, and to avoid hugging and high fiving when celebrating crucial moments. 

Just hours earlier a major surveillance study estimated cases are now doubling every six days and found that infections in England quadrupled in June, with the rise clearly coinciding with the competition.

Cases currently stand at around 25,000 a day across England, meaning the country may break through the six-figure barrier on Freedom Day if current trends continue. 

With infections continuing to rise, more than 100 top scientists and doctors have demanded the Government reconsider its plan to abandon all restrictions in England this month. Experts accused Boris Johnson of carrying out a ‘dangerous and unethical experiment’ by pressing on with July 19’s unlocking. 

Several scientists have warned that if England continues to progress in the competition, cases will continue to go up. The national team ended their 55-year wait for a major final last night, defeating Denmark 2-1 in front of a packed 60,000-strong crowd in London (pictured, jubilant fans leaving Wembley Stadium last night)

Several scientists have warned that if England continues to progress in the competition, cases will continue to go up. The national team ended their 55-year wait for a major final last night, defeating Denmark 2-1 in front of a packed 60,000-strong crowd in London (pictured, jubilant fans leaving Wembley Stadium last night)

With England now gearing up for glory in the final against Italy on Sunday night following last night's nerve-shredding extra-time victory over Denmark, there are fears infections will continue to spike. Pictured: Fans on Wembley Way last night

With England now gearing up for glory in the final against Italy on Sunday night following last night’s nerve-shredding extra-time victory over Denmark, there are fears infections will continue to spike. Pictured: Fans on Wembley Way last night

A major surveillance study estimated cases are now doubling every six days and found that infections in England quadrupled in June, with the rise clearly coinciding with the competition. Men are also around 30 per cent more likely to test positive than women and prevalence is highest among 18 to 24 year olds

A major surveillance study estimated cases are now doubling every six days and found that infections in England quadrupled in June, with the rise clearly coinciding with the competition. Men are also around 30 per cent more likely to test positive than women and prevalence is highest among 18 to 24 year olds

Infections among Britons were also more than three times higher among un-vaccinated people compared to those who got both doses of the vaccine. Experts said cases had risen in the double-vaccinated because jabs are 'not perfect', and only prevent symptomatic disease in about 70 per cent of cases. But they do block hospitalisations and deaths in 90 per cent

Infections among Britons were also more than three times higher among un-vaccinated people compared to those who got both doses of the vaccine. Experts said cases had risen in the double-vaccinated because jabs are ‘not perfect’, and only prevent symptomatic disease in about 70 per cent of cases. But they do block hospitalisations and deaths in 90 per cent

Unlocking on July 19 is a ‘dangerous and unethical experiment’, warn 122 scientists and doctors

More than 100 top scientists and doctors have accused Boris Johnson of conducting a ‘dangerous and unethical experiment’ by pressing on with July 19’s unlocking.

In a letter in The Lancet, the experts have demanded the Government reconsider its plan to abandon all restrictions in England this month, describing it as ‘premature’.

They warned that going ahead with Freedom Day despite accepting there could be hundreds of thousands of infections each day is both ‘unethical and illogical’.

Allowing Covid to rip through the country will leave ‘hundreds of thousands with long-term illness and disability’ due to the effects of the virus itself, as well as long Covid, they said.

Among the 122 signatories are Dr Richard Horton, editor of The Lancet, Sir David King, a former chief scientific adviser under David Cameron’s Government, and Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chairman of the British Medical Association (BMA) Council. 

The letter has also been signed by several of No10’s own expert advisers, including Professor Susan Michie and Professor Stephen Reicher, highlighting the rift within SAGE over the July 19 unlocking.

Many within SAGE — including Professor Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance — are in favour of opening this month because they fear delaying any longer will only trigger a worse peak in winter.

Professor McKee told MailOnline: ‘The association between spikes in cases and football matches is complicated. 

‘We did see clear increases associated with the England Scotland match and when Finnish supporters went to St Petersburg. 

‘However the risk is less likely to be at the match, where spectators are in the open, but in enclosed spaces such as bars and public transport. 

‘Crucially, the risk is determined by the probability that someone in the crowd has Covid and that is becoming much more likely now as cases are soaring.’

Pictures taken as Wembley began to empty out at around 11pm yesterday showed how hundreds of ecstatic fans disregarded the threat of coronavirus and advice to keep socially distant.

Masks are not compulsory in crowded outdoor areas but experts say wearing them would help cut the spread of Covid. 

Top scientists warned the football tournament had driven a spike in coronavirus cases that could see the country’s daily infection toll breach 100,000 by July 19.

Doctors in Scotland, which suffered a similar football-driven spike before the nation was knocked out in the group stages, argued it was ‘better from a Covid perspective’ that the country never joined its fierce rivals in making the final stages of the competition 

The Imperial College London study showed men are now around 30 per cent more likely to test positive than women, despite rates being similar throughout the pandemic.

Researchers, who analysed the data, claimed the pattern may be down to Euro 2020, with men gathering in pubs and homes to watch every step of the Three Lions’ journey.

Lead author of the study Professor Steven Riley said: ‘I think the degree to which men and women are socialising is likely to be responsible. 

‘It could be that watching football is resulting in men having more social activity than usual.

‘If I had to speculate about the impact of the Euros I would first think about the increased probability that people are mixing inside more.’ 

With cases now around 25,000 a day across England, the data suggests the country may break through the six-figure barrier on Freedom Day, with the ‘big bang’ unlocking just 12 days away.

Boris Johnson admitted daily cases could run at 50,000 by the time the country reopens on July 19, while new Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the Government was prepared for about 100,000 in August. 

But the hope within Government is that cases will fall sharply after the peak because the virus will ‘run out of people to infect’. 

England's Covid cases rose four-fold last month, according to the latest round of the country's largest Covid surveillance study. Imperial College London experts estimated 0.59 per cent of people would test positive for the virus on any day over the two weeks to July 5 (far right). This was up from 0.15 per cent in the two weeks to June 7

England’s Covid cases rose four-fold last month, according to the latest round of the country’s largest Covid surveillance study. Imperial College London experts estimated 0.59 per cent of people would test positive for the virus on any day over the two weeks to July 5 (far right). This was up from 0.15 per cent in the two weeks to June 7

They estimated that cases were doubling every six days during the study period (red line), which would see them spiral above 100,000 before 'Freedom Day' on July 19. Health Secretary Sajid Javid predicted they would rise to 50,000 by the 'big bang' reopening, and into six-figures next month

They estimated that cases were doubling every six days during the study period (red line), which would see them spiral above 100,000 before ‘Freedom Day’ on July 19. Health Secretary Sajid Javid predicted they would rise to 50,000 by the ‘big bang’ reopening, and into six-figures next month

Britons aged 13 to 24 were also most likely to be infected with Covid, they said. But infections rose in every age group.

Britons aged 13 to 24 were also most likely to be infected with Covid, they said. But infections rose in every age group.

London is once again England's hotspot for Covid infections, according to the study, after cases there are thought to have spiralled ten-fold in a month. The capital is hosting several football matches as part of Euro 2020

London is once again England’s hotspot for Covid infections, according to the study, after cases there are thought to have spiralled ten-fold in a month. The capital is hosting several football matches as part of Euro 2020

England fans celebrate after Harry Kane scored his side's 2nd goal

England fans celebrate after Harry Kane scored his side’s 2nd goal

Crowds of fans leap on seats and wave their flags as  Gareth Southgate's squad beat their rivals following a Wembley thriller

Crowds of fans leap on seats and wave their flags as  Gareth Southgate’s squad beat their rivals following a Wembley thriller

These two fans removed their shirts in celebration at the Trafalgar Square fan zone in celebration last night

These two fans removed their shirts in celebration at the Trafalgar Square fan zone in celebration last night 

Traffic was stopped in central London after England's biggest win for decades

Traffic was stopped in central London after England’s biggest win for decades

The scenes of celebration came as police revealed 20 arrests have been made by officers for a number of offences including common assault, public order and assault on police.

The scenes of celebration came as police revealed 20 arrests have been made by officers for a number of offences including common assault, public order and assault on police.

More than 1500 fans go wild as they watch the game at the 4thefans park, Manchester

More than 1500 fans go wild as they watch the game at the 4thefans park, Manchester

Cases are 13 times higher under-30s than over-60s, official report reveals 

Covid infections across England are 13 times higher in people under the age of 30 compared to the over-60s, according to official figures which highlights the ‘vaccine effect’ on transmission.

Public Health England’s weekly surveillance report showed that in the week ending July 4, rates were highest among people in their twenties who have only recently been offered a jab, at 614 cases per 100,000.

The case rate among over-60s, most of whom have been double-jabbed, was just 47 per 100,000 and even lower in older age groups, at 36.5 per 100,000 in the over-70s and 28 in the over-80s.   

Cambridge University epidemiologist Dr Raghib Ali said the findings showed that the vaccines were extremely effective at slashing transmission as well as serious illness.

AstraZeneca and Pfizer’s jabs have been shown to reduce the risk of catching the Indian Covid variant by up to 64 per cent and among those who still catch the virus, the symptoms are often milder.  

The vaccines are even better at preventing serious illness, hospitalisations and deaths with an efficacy of more than 90 per cent.  

PHE’s weekly update also revealed that every local authority in England saw a rise in Covid infections last week except three, as the third wave of infections continues to surge.

The biggest jumps were in North Lincolnshire, where they nearly tripled to 209 per 100,000, followed by Stockton-on-Tees where they spiked from 155 to 417, a rise of 169 per cent.

Rounding out the top five were Middlesbrough, which saw cases rise 158 per cent to 442, South Tyneside, where infections soared 145 per cent to 927, and Hartlepool where they more than doubled to 555.2.

Infections have risen ten-fold in London over the past month, according to the study, and the authors warned the capital’s rapid rise may be linked to Euro 2020 matches held at Wembley.

Social distancing rules tell fans to stay in their seat during games, keep their distance from others where possible and wear masks when not seated. They also encourage those at games to avoid hugging and high fives during games.

But thousands ignored the guidelines, with fans sent into dreamland when captain Harry Kane scored England’s second goal by pouncing on the rebound of his saved penalty. The rules only applied within the stadium itself — but face masks are still compulsory on public transport. 

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson today urged the nation not to delete the NHS Covid app and to stick with it ‘for a little bit longer’ amid fears millions of Brits will be ‘pinged’ and told to self-isolate every week after ‘freedom day’. The Prime Minister said the ‘day is not too far off’ when contacts of positive cases will no longer have to self-isolate.

Discussing the of the Imperial study findings, Professor Riley said: ‘My first thought wouldn’t immediately be to Wembley, but more about general behaviour in the population.’ 

The i claimed today that a full capacity may be allowed inside the stadium for Sunday night’s final. 

Whitehall insiders said a 90,000-strong crowd ‘cannot be ruled out’. Currently, the stadium’s capacity has been capped at 75 per cent. 

One Government adviser said: ‘There are big issues to overcome, but this week the prospect of England being in the final has been discussed. 

‘Of course, there are issues over Covid and people being packed into Wembley, but there is also the view that hundreds of thousands of people will be out watching anyway and there’s nothing anyone can really do about that. 

‘It’s by no means certain Wembley will be full for the final, but there’s a growing feeling that this could be a moment we cannot let pass. It cannot be ruled out. 

‘There’s also those who believe if Wimbledon can have capacity crowds and no social distancing, then why can’t Wembley if England are in the final.’

The REACT-1 study, which is commissioned by the Government, sends out swabs to a representative sample of households across England to track the pandemic.

Around 50,000 people were tested in the most recent round of the study between June 24 and July 5, regardless of whether they had symptoms. 

The study concluded cases are increasing in all age groups and regions as England experiences a ‘substantial third wave of infections’. 

There were 237 positive tests, which the scientists estimated meant the virus had a prevalence of around 0.59 per cent — the equivalent of one in 170 people.

This was up on last month when just 0.15 per cent of swabs detected the virus, and a six-fold surge on the low-point in May when 0.10 per cent tested positive. 

Men were more likely to have Covid than women for the first time since March last year, according to the study, with 0.71 per cent of men estimated to be infected compared to 0.47 per cent of women.

England are one game from glory, as they now face a final with Italy at Wembley on Sunday after beating Denmark 2-1 last night

England are one game from glory, as they now face a final with Italy at Wembley on Sunday after beating Denmark 2-1 last night

Grant Shapps announces double-jabbed Brits can visit ‘amber list’ countries from July 19 WITHOUT having to quarantine

The Transport Secretary is confirm today that new 'amber list' rules will kick in from July 19

The Transport Secretary is confirm today that new ‘amber list’ rules will kick in from July 19

Grant Shapps today announced that from July 19 double-jabbed holidaymakers by able to visit ‘amber list’ countries without the need to quarantine on return.

The Transport Secretary confirmed that the self-isolation rules are being waived for the fully-vaccinated from so-called ‘Freedom Day’, in a boost for the stricken travel industry and Brits desperate to get away.

Children will also be exempted allowing families a far wider range of options for going abroad, and ex-pats will benefit from the change as long as they were jabbed in the UK.

However, the requirement to get tests after two days after coming back will stay in place with ministers arguing it provides crucial genomic sequencing to detect dangerous variants.

The rule for England could add hundreds of pounds to the cost of holidays for families, as children will need to have the screening too.

PCR tests for holidaymakers returning from ‘green list’ destinations are also being kept – meaning for the double-jabbed the regime is the same for amber and green countries.

Meanwhile, sun-seekers could also find themselves hampered as many countries still have tough restrictions on Britons visiting amid concern about the Indian variant. 

London saw the sharpest spike in cases with 1.08 per cent of residents now thought to have the virus, compared to 0.13 per cent in the previous month.

Yorkshire and the Humber was estimated to have the second highest rate, with 0.78 per cent of residents sampled testing positive, followed by the North East with 0.72 per cent.

And Britons aged between 13 and 24 were also most likely to be infected with the coronavirus, with more than 1.3 per cent testing positive.

Asked whether the surges in men and younger age groups could be attributed to the Euros, Professor Riley said: ‘I think fluctuations in transmission are likely to be caused by changes in social mixing. 

‘There is lots of evidence that mixing inside more often is more likely to cause transmission.’

He said the difference between the genders was ‘to do with changes in social mixing pattern’, adding that ‘one can speculate as to why that might be’.

Asked by MailOnline whether Britons should be concerned about the spike in Covid cases, he said: ‘From a health policy point of view it is reasonable to be a bit more concerned because things are going up a bit quicker.

‘We need to watch the hospitalisations a bit more closely, because these will likely also rise faster.’ 

The latest REACT-1 study also found cases were three times higher among Britons who had not been vaccinated, compared to those who received both doses.

Results showed 1.09 per cent of Britons who had not got either jab would test positive for the virus on any day over the two weeks to July 5. For comparison, among those who had received both doses only 0.30 per cent would test positive.

Covid infections have risen among double-vaccinated Britons from the previous month when 0.06 per cent were estimated to have the virus. 

But the experts said the rise was to be expected because the vaccines are ‘not perfect’ and do not always prevent people getting infected. The current crop of jabs cut the risk of severe illness by around 95 per cent, however. 

Professor Paul Elliot, one of the researchers, said: ‘In spite of the successful vaccine roll out of the vaccination programme, we are still seeing rapid growth in infections especially among young people.

‘However, it is encouraging to see lower infection prevalence in people who have had both doses of a vaccine. It is therefore essential that as many people as possible take up both vaccine doses when offered.’

Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said: ‘It is hugely encouraging to see the vaccination roll out is having a significant impact on stopping the spread of the virus. Almost two thirds of adults — 64 per cent — have had both doses, and so have got the fullest protection on offer.

‘I urge everyone to get their first and second dose when invited, as every jab helps to curb transmission and serious illness. 

‘The small number of people who are double jabbed and experience symptoms should get tested so we all play our part to stop the spread of this awful virus.’

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: ‘As we unlock society and learn to live with Covid, we will inevitably see cases rise significantly over the coming weeks. It is vital people practice good sense and take personal responsibility for their own health hand those around them.’ 

Boris Johnson pleads with the nation not to delete the NHS app as Jenny Harries says it will be ‘tuned’

Boris Johnson said the 'day is not too far off' when contacts of positive cases will no longer have to self-isolate, with the current approach to quarantine coming to an end from the middle of next month

Boris Johnson said the ‘day is not too far off’ when contacts of positive cases will no longer have to self-isolate, with the current approach to quarantine coming to an end from the middle of next month

Boris Johnson today urged the nation not to delete the NHS Covid-19 app and to stick with it ‘for a little bit longer’ amid fears millions of Brits will be ‘pinged’ and told to self-isolate every week after ‘freedom day’. 

The Prime Minister said the ‘day is not too far off’ when contacts of positive cases will no longer have to self-isolate, with the current approach to quarantine coming to an end from the middle of next month. 

The PM’s plea to the country is unlikely to assuage the anger of business chiefs who have warned the app will cause chaos after July 19. 

There are reports that many people are simply deleting the app to avoid being contacted and told to self-isolate as the country braces for a surge in coronavirus case numbers. 

Rishi Sunak hinted this morning the app could be tweaked as he said Sajid Javid, the Health Secretary, is ‘aware of the frustration that people have’ with the technology. 

He said that ‘most people’s concerns rest with how the app is working’ and Mr Javid is ‘looking at what the most appropriate, balanced and proportionate approach to isolation is’. 

Meanwhile, NHS bosses have called on ministers to lift the self-isolation rules early for health workers who have had both vaccine doses amid fears of staff shortages. 

Mr Javid admitted in the Commons yesterday that Britain could suffer 100,000 infections a day by next month, as the Government pushes ahead with ‘Freedom Day’. 

But he said there would only be half this number by the unlocking, echoing comments from the Prime Minister on Monday at a Downing Street press conference. 

The Health Secretary gave the grim figure as he insisted Boris Johnson was right to continue with the dramatic unlocking on July 19, saying hospitalisations and deaths were what mattered.

He claimed further delay would run the risk of trying to reopen in autumn or winter when the virus ‘has an edge’.

There are mounting fears in official circles that the Euro 2020 games are sparking growing outbreaks in England, amid the Three Lions’ success in the tournament. 

Ministers said yesterday there were ‘no guarantees’ that huge crowds cramming into Wembley would not spark outbreaks amid claims of Cabinet anxiety over the risks.

More than 60,000 fans were expected to attend England’s semi-final with Denmark, as well as the final on Sunday with the stadium now at 75 per cent capacity.

The social distancing rules tell fans to stay in their seat during games, maintain their distance from others where possible and wear face masks when not seated. They also encourage those at games to avoid hugging and high fives during games but thousands ignored the guidelines during Italy’s semi-final victory against Spain last night.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng insisted the potential problems can be ‘managed’ ahead of the crucial match.

But some ministers are understood to be concerned that matches at the London stadium could be fuelling sharp rises in cases.

One Cabinet source told MailOnline that it was ‘fair’ to say nerves are jangling. ‘As we continue the greater likelihood these things are going to happen,’ they said. 

Mr Kwarteng said: ‘I think we can manage this risk but to say there is no risk, if you have thousands of people in one place. There’s always risk in life.

‘I think we’re managing the risk. I’m confident there won’t be a big outbreak but we can’t guarantee that now.’

Official figures from Scotland showed there were nearly 1,300 Covid cases linked to fans travelling to London for Euro-related events as the nation faced England in the group stages.

That included 397 people who attended the clash in Wembley on June 18, according to Public Health Scotland.

But the outbreak north of the border now appears to be falling in the wake of the Scottish team falling out of the Euros. 

More than 45.5million Britons — or 86.4 per cent of adults — have got one dose and 34million people — or 64.6 per cent — have got both doses. 

Although cases are rising exponentially, hospitalisations remain low thanks to the vaccination drive. There were 386 admissions due to the virus on July 3, the latest available, far below when there were more than 20,000 cases a day during the second wave. 

England fans party into the night at Boxpark in Croydon as the Three Lions secure their spot in the Euro 202 final

England fans party into the night at Boxpark in Croydon as the Three Lions secure their spot in the Euro 202 final

England fans at Boxpark Croydon wave flags as they celebrate the nation's win against Denmark in the Euro semi final game

England fans at Boxpark Croydon wave flags as they celebrate the nation’s win against Denmark in the Euro semi final game

England fans celebrate in the streets of Newcastle after the Three Lions defeat Denmark and secure a place in the Euro final

England fans celebrate in the streets of Newcastle after the Three Lions defeat Denmark and secure a place in the Euro final

Scenes of jubilation erupt across the country as England secure a place in the final after beating Denmark during showdown

Scenes of jubilation erupt across the country as England secure a place in the final after beating Denmark during showdown 

In Liverpool hundreds of fans leap for joy as England secure their spot in the final of the Euro 2020 game

In Liverpool hundreds of fans leap for joy as England secure their spot in the final of the Euro 2020 game 

Grant Shapps announces double-jabbed Brits can visit ‘amber list’ countries from July 19 WITHOUT having to quarantine – but must still take tests on their return potentially adding HUNDREDS of pounds to costs

Grant Shapps today announced that from July 19 double-jabbed holidaymakers by able to visit ‘amber list’ countries without the need to quarantine on return.

The Transport Secretary confirmed that the self-isolation rules are being waived for the fully-vaccinated from so-called ‘Freedom Day’, in a boost for the stricken travel industry and Brits desperate to get away.

Children will also be exempted allowing families a far wider range of options for going abroad, and ex-pats will benefit from the change as long as they were jabbed in the UK.

However, the requirement to get tests after two days after coming back will stay in place with ministers arguing it provides crucial genomic sequencing to detect dangerous variants. 

Mr Shapps' announcement means that for fully-vaccinated Britons the rules will be essentially the same for green and amber list countries

Mr Shapps’ announcement means that for fully-vaccinated Britons the rules will be essentially the same for green and amber list countries

What countries are on the ‘amber list’ for travel? 

Akrotiri and Dhekelia

Albania

Algeria

Andorra

Armenia

Aruba

Austria

Azerbaijan

The Bahamas

Belarus

Belgium

Belize

Benin

Bhutan

Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bulgaria

Burkina Faso

Cambodia

Cameroon

Canada

Central African Republic

Chad

China

Comoros

Congo

Cook Islands, Tokelau and Niue

Côte d’Ivoire

Croatia

Cuba

Curaçao

Cyprus

Czech Republic (Czechia)

Denmark

Djibouti

El Salvador

Equatorial Guinea

Estonia

Fiji

Finland

France

French Polynesia

Gabon

The Gambia

Georgia

Germany

Ghana

Greece (including islands)

Greenland

Guadeloupe

Guatemala

Guinea

Guinea-Bissau

Honduras

Hong Kong

Hungary

Indonesia

Iran

Iraq

Italy

Jamaica

Japan

Jordan

Kazakhstan

Kiribati

Kosovo

Kuwait

Kyrgyzstan

Laos

Latvia

Lebanon

Liberia

Libya

Liechtenstein

Lithuania

Luxembourg

Macao

Madagascar

Malaysia

Mali

Marshall Islands

Martinique

Mauritania

Mauritius

Mayotte

Mexico

Micronesia

Moldova

Monaco

Montenegro

Morocco

Myanmar (Burma)

Nauru

Netherlands

New Caledonia

Nicaragua

Niger

Nigeria

North Korea

North Macedonia

Norway

The Occupied Palestinian Territories

Palau

Papua New Guinea

Poland

Portugal (including the Azores) 

Réunion

Romania

Russia

Samoa

San Marino

Sao Tome and Principe

Saudi Arabia

Senegal

Serbia

Sierra Leone

Slovakia

Slovenia

Solomon Islands

South Korea

South Sudan

Spain (including the Canary Islands) 

St Kitts and Nevis

St Lucia

St Maarten

St Martin and St Barthélemy

St Pierre and Miquelon

St Vincent and the Grenadines

Sweden

Switzerland

Syria

Taiwan

Tajikistan

Thailand

Timor-Leste

Togo

Tonga

Turkmenistan

Tuvalu

Ukraine

United States 

Uzbekistan

Vanuatu

Vietnam

Wallis and Futuna

Western Sahara

Yemen

The rule for England could add hundreds of pounds to the cost of holidays for families, as children will need to have the screening too.

PCR tests for holidaymakers returning from ‘green list’ destinations are also being kept – meaning for the double-jabbed the regime is the same for amber and green countries.

Meanwhile, sun-seekers could also find themselves hampered as many countries still have tough restrictions on Britons visiting amid concern about the Indian variant.

Holiday firms have been gearing up for a bookings surge with quarantine-free trips unlocked for millions of families to more than 130 countries – including the US, Thailand and most European countries.

As it stands, travellers returning from these destinations must quarantine for up to ten days – regardless of whether they are vaccinated or not.

Only travellers returning from a small list of green countries can avoid quarantine.

Mr Shapps told the Commons: ‘I can confirm today that from the 19th of July, UK residents who are fully vaccinated through the UK vaccine rollout will no longer have to self-isolate when they return to England.

‘They’ll still be required to take a test three days before returning, the pre-departure test, demonstrating they’re negative before they travel, and a PCR test on or before day two, but they will no longer be required to take a day eight test.

‘In essence, this means that for fully vaccinated travellers the requirements for green and amber list countries are the same.

‘To be clear, a full vaccination means 14 days have passed since your final dose of the vaccine, and it’s also important to note that health matters are devolved, so decision-making and implementation may differ across the UK administrations and we’ll continue to work with the devolved administrations to ensure we achieve our shared objectives of safe, sustainable and robust return to international travel.’

Mr Shapps said the changes he had announced would ‘prioritise those vaccinated in the United Kingdom’ – but suggested that foreign tourists coming to England could soon benefit from the same treatment.

‘We want to welcome international visitors back to the UK and are working to extend our approach to vaccinated passengers from important markets and holiday destinations later this summer, such as the United States and the EU,’ he said.

Mr Shapps said he would update MPs in ‘due course’ on the issue.

The news was warmly welcomed by the travel industry. British Airways chief executive Sean Doyle said: ‘We’re pleased to see this common sense approach which is already working safely for many other countries, but there is more work to do.

‘While the quarantine requirement for amber countries is being lifted for fully vaccinated UK travellers, the government needs to quickly extend this to all vaccinated travellers, agree a reciprocal deal with the US, add more countries to the green list and reduce the need for unnecessary, expensive tests.’

Amid growing speculation in recent days, comparison site TravelSupermarket said more than half of all new bookings were for the last week of July or first week of August – up from 10 per cent a fortnight ago.

Meanwhile 62 per cent of all package holiday searches are for July/August, up 20 per cent on last month.

British Airways said searches for holidays to amber list countries on its website yesterday were up 45 per cent compared with the same day last week. And Jet2 said it had seen ‘enormous demand’ for flights.

Martin Nolan, of booking site Skyscanner, said: ‘It is clear that people are aching to be able to travel again… as evidenced by the immediate uptick in searches and bookings.’

Paul Charles, CEO of The PC Agency, a travel consultancy, said firms were racing to bring staff back off furlough to handle the expected surge in bookings.

He said: ‘My advice is for people to lock in tomorrow on the deals they see before there’s an announcement because prices will rise when demand spikes.

‘I think we will see a lot of last-minute bookings for trips at short notice. Families will confirm some trips but then you will get a lot of couples that are fully-jabbed.

‘I think there will be a rush to the border by the double-jabbed over-40s and the silver generation.

‘The pent up demands is enormous. There will be a lot of trips to long-distance, more exotic locations. But Spain, France and Portugal will also all do really well.’

He added: ‘One issue is resources and whether firms have the staff and capacity to deliver it.

‘I know some travel firms that are bringing people back from furlough to cope with the expected increase in demand.’

Under the revamped rules, the ‘do not travel’ advice will be dropped and vaccinated UK residents will be allowed to travel home from amber countries without the need to quarantine.

Children, who are not eligible for vaccination, will be exempted from self-isolation if they are travelling with family.

But they will have to take additional tests. According to the Telegraph, Mr Shapps has told the industry: ‘Day-two testing will remain for arrivals from amber countries, regardless of vaccinated status, as this pro vides genomic sequencing capability to identify the risk of importing variants.’

Those who have not received both vaccines will still have to quarantine when they arrive in the UK or face a £10,000 fine.

The change will make no difference to red list countries such as India, Turkey and Brazil.

Anyone returning from a red list country must quarantine in an approved hotel at a cost of £1,750 each.

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