BRITS will find out which holiday destinations will make the so-called green list THIS Friday - while just four UK deaths were recorded today.
Europe is begging vaccinated Brits to take their summer holidays on the continent this year as coronavirus cases keep falling.
While just a "handful" of countries are due to get the coveted green status from May 17 when the list is announced later this week, a three-weekly review will pave the way for more places to be added.
Holiday hotspot Portugal is on the “cusp” on making the initial list, with an insider saying it would go green “soonish” even if it missed out this time around.
Popular destinations including Spain, Greece and France are pencilled in by Downing Street to be added by the end of June, reports the Telegraph.
A government source said the list will be updated every few weeks to give Brits the chance to get away.
Read our coronavirus live blog below for the latest updates...
US ADMINISTERS 247.8 MILLION DOSES OF COVID-19 VACCINES
The United States has administered 247,769,049 doses of Covid-19 vaccines in the country as of Tuesday morning.
It has also distributed 318,474,035 doses, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Tuesday.
Those figures are up from the 246,780,203 vaccine doses the CDC said had gone into arms by Monday out of 312,509,575 doses delivered.
The agency said 147,894,671 people had received at least one dose while 106,168,588 people are fully vaccinated as of Tuesday.
MOM-OF-FOUR, 35, DIES FROM BLOOD CLOT IN BRAIN 11 DAYS AFTER GETTING JOHNSON & JOHNSON COVID VACCINE, FAMILY SAYS
A MOTHER-of-four died from a brain blood clot just 11 days after receiving the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, her family says.
Anne VanGeest, 35, of Eastern Township, Michigan, was given the one-shot vaccine on April 8 - five days before the CDC and FDA temporarily paused use of the jab over blood clot concerns.
Read more here.
IRISH COVID-19 JOBLESS CLAIMS FALL 4% AS ECONOMY REOPENS
The number of people in Ireland claiming temporary coronavirus-related jobless benefits fell by 4 per cent over the last week ahead of a substantial reopening of the economy in the coming weeks, data shown today.
Pandemic Unemployment Payment claims dropped to 385,211 from 403,095, the social protection department said.
The total rose as high as 480,000 in February when the closure of most shops, building sites and all hospitality facilities pushed the unemployment rate to close to 25 per cent.
BORIS TOLD TO ‘GET ON WITH ENDING LOCKDOWN’
Boris Johnson has been told to “get on with it” and end lockdown faster after Britain recorded its lowest death toll in nine months.
Restless Tory MPs want the PM to speed up parts of his roadmap, including allowing more guests at weddings before June 21.
They have accused him of failing to stick to his promise that he’ll follow “data not dates” when deciding how to lift restrictions.
Tory MP Philip Davies said there is “no justification” for not returning the country “back to normal” now.
He told told The Sun: “I want everything reopened much faster and weddings is one of them. It’s been devastating for the industry. Everyone vulnerable has now been vaccinated, what is the justification for it?”
COVID ‘NAILS’ ARE LATEST NEW SYMPTOM
Prof Tim Spector, who leads the Zoe Symptom Study app, wrote on Twitter: “Do your nails look odd?
“COVID nails are increasingly being recognised as the nails recover after infection and the growth recovers leaving a clear line. Can occur without skin rashes and appears harmless.”
He posted an image of what appear to be women’s fingernails with horizontal streaks across them.
Fingernails grow in roughly six-month cycles.
Therefore, Prof Spector is suggesting that a change in appearance related to an infection would come with a slight delay.
ENGLAND’S 11 IPL CRICKET PLAYERS HAVE STARTED TO FLY HOME FROM INDIA
The PA News agency reports England’s 11 Indian Premier League players have started to fly home.
The tournament was postponed indefinitely on Tuesday due to the country’s ongoing coronavirus crisis, with the lucrative Twenty20 competition previously taking place against the grim backdrop of a public health emergency.
India’s daily infection rates recently topped 400,000 and mass oxygen shortages had been reported before the IPL was finally suspended after positive cases in three of the eight franchises were recorded to show the players’ bio-secure bubbles are no longer safe.
The majority of England’s players involved in the tournament are expected to fly home on Tuesday night and once they do arrive on UK shores, they can expect a mandatory 10-day quarantine in a Government-approved hotel due to India’s status as a ‘red list’ country.
WATCH: BRITS TOLD NOT TO BOOK FOREIGN HOLIDAYS YET AS GOVERNMENT WILL BE ‘CAUTIOUS’ WITH GREEN LIST
MEXICO SEES A FURTHER 395 COVID FATALITIES, DEATH TOLL NOW 217,740
Mexico today confirmed 3,064 new Covid cases and 395 more deaths, according to the country's health ministry.
Today's data brings the total number of cases in the country to 2,352,964 and fatalities to 217,740.
CALL FOR CARE HOME VISITING GUIDANCE 'TO BE UNDERPINNED BY LAW'
A new report says Government guidance on care home visits must be underpinned in law to protect the rights of residents and their families.
The Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) says it is "completely unacceptable" for some care home providers to argue it is not safe to follow Government guidance.
Current guidance says every care home resident in England can nominate up to two named visitors for regular visits, and residents with the highest care needs can also nominate an essential care giver.
It says staff should not make blanket decisions for groups of people and that the individual resident's views, needs and wellbeing should be taken into account when making visiting decisions.
But MPs and peers said providers have not felt bound by the guidance as it is not underpinned in law.
TEACHING UNIONS DEMAND KIDS KEEP WEARING MASKS IN CLASSROOMS UNTIL AT LEAST JUNE 21 DESPITE RECORD LOW INFECTIONS
Unions have called for the mandatory masks in secondary schools until at least June 21.
A group of unions and scientists have said that the masks will help to prevent negative "consequences" on the health of pupils and parents.
A joint letter to Education Secretary Gavin Williamson from the National Education Union alongside five other unions demands that the face mask rule remains in place until the end of term.
The letter claims that face coverings are "an essential part of the wider system of control in schools".
It came after schools minister Nick Gibb said last week that he hoped that pupils would no longer have to wear face masks in class in secondary schools and colleges in England from mid-May.
CAUTIOUS HOPES BRITISH HOLIDAYMAKERS COULD HAVE CHOICE OF OVERSEAS DESTINATIONS
British holidaymakers could visit destinations including Italy and France this summer if Covid-19 cases there can be driven down to UK levels, a senior scientific adviser has said.
Professor Neil Ferguson, from Imperial College London, whose modelling work informs Government scientists, said he had not yet booked a break abroad but the risks were focused on countries with higher infection levels than the UK.
It comes after the European Commission said it would ease restrictions on travel to the bloc amid progressing Covid-19 vaccination campaigns and lower infection rates.
The EU is proposing “to allow entry to the EU for non-essential reasons not only for all persons coming from countries with a good epidemiological situation, but also all people who have received the last recommended dose of an EU-authorised vaccine”.
The UK Government’s “green list” of countries to which people can travel without having to isolate for 14 days on their return is also expected to be released shortly.
BORIS JOHNSON AND US SECRETARY OF STATE SPEAK ABOUT INTERNATIONAL COVID VACCINE ROLLOUT
The Prime Minister and US secretary of state Antony Blinken also spoke about the international coronavirus vaccine rollout during their meeting, Downing Street said.
"The Prime Minister and Secretary Blinken agreed that the global rollout of vaccines will be key to defeating the coronavirus pandemic," a No 10 spokeswoman added.
"They underlined the importance of G7 work in this area, including efforts to increase international manufacturing capability.
"They also discussed a number of foreign policy issues including Afghanistan, Iran and China.
"The Prime Minister looked forward to welcoming President Biden to the UK when he makes his first overseas visit to the G7 in June."
BORDER FORCE ‘CHOOSING’ NOT TO FULLY STAFF AIRPORTS
Border Force is “choosing” not to fully staff airport arrival halls where passengers are being forced to wait in long queues, a trade body has claimed.
Henk van Klaveren, head of public affairs at the Airport Operators Association, said it should be “entirely manageable” to process passengers promptly given the reduction in flights.
Mr van Klaveren told the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Coronavirus: “What needs to happen is that Border Force needs to actually put the resources it has at the border, to ensure that they can manage the passenger numbers coming in. There are not many people travelling, it should be an entirely manageable thing to do. That means that all the desks need to be open, which they’re currently not.”
Border Force is “choosing not to fully staff the border”, Mr van Klaveren said.
ENGLAND'S 11 IPL CRICKET PLAYERS HAVE STARTED TO FLY HOME FROM INDIA
The PA News agency reports England's 11 Indian Premier League players have started to fly home.
The tournament was postponed indefinitely on Tuesday due to the country's ongoing coronavirus crisis, with the lucrative Twenty20 competition previously taking place against the grim backdrop of a public health emergency.
India's daily infection rates recently topped 400,000 and mass oxygen shortages had been reported before the IPL was finally suspended after positive cases in three of the eight franchises were recorded to show the players' bio-secure bubbles are no longer safe.
The majority of England's players involved in the tournament are expected to fly home on Tuesday night and once they do arrive on UK shores, they can expect a mandatory 10-day quarantine in a Government-approved hotel due to India's status as a 'red list' country.
GERMANY TO EASE VIRUS CURBS FOR VACCINATED PEOPLE
People who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 will no longer have to abide by curfews and contact restrictions in Germany under a draft law agreed by the cabinet today.
The law, which would also apply to people who have recovered from Covid-19, must still be signed off by parliament but could come into force as early as this week, Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht said.
There must be a “good reason” for any restrictions on public life, Lambrecht said. “As soon as this reason ceases to exist… these restrictions should then no longer be in place,” she said.
Under national measures introduced in April, areas of Germany with an incidence rate of more than 100 new infections per 100,000 people over the last seven days.
WATCH: NEW DELHI CREMATORIUM OVERWHELMED AS TOTAL COVID INFECTIONS COME CLOSE TO 20 MILLION IN INDIA
SPAIN: REGIONS TO DECIDE COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS FROM MAY 9
Its government will pass responsibility for coronavirus restrictions on to the country’s 17 regions after a state of emergency expires next week, Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo said on Tuesday.
The six-month emergency decree, which provides a legal framework for the most restrictive Covid-19 measures, expires on Sunday.
Regional authorities will then be able to set up curfews and lock down areas but must secure the support of local courts, Calvo said.
“Regions can justify, argue, propose measures to tribunals curfews or lockdowns that limit rights and freedoms, but they need a judicial authorisation,” she told a news conference.
MULTIMILLION-POUND INVESTMENT TO BOLSTER PORTON DOWN TESTING FOR VARIANTS
Testing facilities at Porton Down are to be bolstered to help “future proof” the country against the threat of new variants of the virus which causes Covid-19, the Health Secretary has said.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said that it will plough more money into the expansion of laboratories at the Wiltshire site where scientists test existing and new vaccines against variants of concern.
Tests on blood samples can help scientists monitor the effectiveness of the coronavirus vaccines. Current testing capacity is 700 tests a week.
DHSC said this will increase to 1,500 by January 2022 – backed with a previous £20 million investment.
And it said a further £29.3 million investment will double the capacity for testing variant samples to 3,000 per week when the work is completed.