💥 NEW with @SarahNev: Boris Johnson set to delay lockdown easing in England by one month.

Chris Whitty, chief medical officer, has advised the PM that a four week delay is necessary to make a material difference to infections.

ft.com/content/fa7c25… via @financialtimes
Whitty told PM a four-week delay was vital to avoid a situation in which restrictions are lifted prematurely, only to have to be restored later.

One Johnson ally: “Irreversibility is driving Boris’ thinking.”

One Cabinet Office insider said: “A delay [to final easing] is the only sensible course of action. It’s our working assumption. The latest modelling is dire and it would be suicide to go ahead with a full easing.”

Johnson was given data on Thursday that outlined the latest analysis of the Delta variant and impact on the NHS. Officials have concluded one jab doesn’t offer any substantial protection

“It is now critical we double jab everyone as quickly as possible.”

Govt medical advisors think a four week delay would have a substantial impact on adults jabbed.

“They can predict how many in different age groups will get vaccinated and the modelling shows that after four weeks it has a major impact on positive cases”


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More from @SebastianEPayne

13 Jun
Was this year’s G7 summit a success? Yes and no.

At these global meets, the rhetoric and tone was upbeat: we’ve taken action to avoid another pandemic, we’re vaccinating the poorest, we’re making decisive progress on climate change.

But the policy left much to be desired. Image
The G7 pledged to "vaccinate the world" by the end of 2022 with 1bn jabs for the poorest (it's actually 870m).

But the WHO reckon 10bn doses are needed. Oxfam says "a billion doses would have been a drop in the bucket, but they didn’t even manage that"

On China, the G7 announced Build Back Better for the world (B3W) initiative to provide a "democratic alternative" to Belt and Road. But no details were agreed on funding or how it would work. Instead they agreed to form a committee and keep talking.

Read 12 tweets
10 Jun
The Foreign Office has kindly chartered a train to take the media down to the G7 in Cornwall. With five hours for the media trapped together talking to and about itself, we’ve finally created a real life Twitter.
Come to the UK for an international summit, pile onto a tiny two carriage diesel train for a chug through the mizzle. At least the bunting is out.
There’s no complimentary catering at this year’s G7 - blaming the foreign aid cuts - but it’s good to see British farmers doing their bit
Read 4 tweets
7 Jun
Very important news from Matt Hancock in the Commons, confirming Covid jabs are working. Out of 12,383 Delta variant cases in UK till June 3rd:

- 464 people went to emergency care
- 126 admitted to hospital
- 83 were unvaccinated
- 28 had one jab
- Just 3 both doses
Hancock: "We know that the vaccine is breaking links between infections, hospitalisations and deaths - a link that was rock solid back in the autumn. Despite the rise in cases, hospitalisations have been broadly flat."

If that is true, it could be hopeful for June 21 easing.
For those asking about the missing 12 people in Hancock's numbers, the answer (via the ever incredible @jburnmurdoch) is a known issue: there are always a portion of people whose hospital data has not yet been linked to their vaccination data.

Read 4 tweets
2 Jun
I’ve returned from a glorious weekend in Portugal, one of countries on the UK’s green list for international travel. The experience was surprisingly smooth, it carefully planned. Some recommendations on how to make it as straightforward as possible:
Testing: before going to a green list country, you need a negative PCR coronavirus test within 72 hours of departure. I used Doctap, who can turn around a test within 24 hours. They have lots of clinics across London, I was in and and out within 10 mins doctap.co.uk/covid-19-test/
To return to the UK, you need a negative result from a lateral flow test within 72 hours of flying. Qured send a LFD in the post, which you take on holiday and use during a 20 minute Zoom call. They then email a certificate to show you're safe to fly.

Read 9 tweets
20 May
NEW with @AnnaSophieGross: domestic vaccine passports are coming for big events this summer.

Phase one trials for big events have gone "very well" based on rigorous testing. Phase two pilots starting shortly will include use of NHS app for jab status.

Up to 10 events will be part of phase two pilot for events ahead of June 21, which may include Royal Ascot. Next trails will include venues operating at full capacity to "find cracks in the system".

"We want to get crowds back safely in higher numbers"

One senior Whitehall figure said "it’s almost certain that vaccine certification will be required for large events" after lockdown is fully eased, but they will not be used for visiting pubs and restaurants. Legislation will be required to introduce this.

Read 6 tweets
18 May
🍃🏠 In verdant Kent, Hertfordshire and Oxfordshire, the Conservatives are fearful of the Green party, who are rapidly becoming the new Liberal Democrats.

The impending row over planning reform will make the situation worse. Latest @FinancialTimes column ft.com/content/73576f…
In Tonbridge, the Greens ended a 44 year streak of Tory councillors with a strong local campaign.

Mark Hood, the town's first ever Green reprsentative, "We were visible, we litter-picked, we set up Covid support groups. We worked in the community"

Much of the Green growth in the Home Counties is due to changing demographics, including steady flows from London.

"A lot of people have moved into Tonbridge from different backgrounds. In the past, it was true blue. We’ve managed to beat that tribalism"

Read 6 tweets

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