Coronavirus news – live: PM to set out ‘traffic light’ system for travel as vaccine passport trials to begin
Boris Johnson says Britain can look forward to ‘brighter days ahead’
Boris Johnson will set out plans for a “Covid status certification” scheme, which will begin trials this month at several pilot events, as airline chiefs urge him to allow international holidays within weeks.
It is hoped that the scheme will enable the safe return of mass events, such as sports matches, conferences and night clubs, without the need for social distancing. However, many MPs have voiced concerns over the idea of “vaccine passports” and will want to study the proposals closely.
The prime minister is expected to announce more details on Monday and said the government is doing “everything we can” to allow mass events to resume amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The heads of British Airways, easyJet, Jet2.com, Loganair, Ryanair, Tui and Virgin Atlantic, as well as trade body Airlines UK, said in their letter – published by The Sun – that they recognised restriction-free universal travel may not be possible by that date, but added that “there can be no economic recovery without aviation”.
Boris Johnson is set to outline a traffic light system central to the government’s plan to open up foreign travel while preventing Covid variants finding their way into the UK.
Ministers have said the current lockdown ban on international travel will remain until at least 17 May, with the government’s global travel task force due to report on recommendations for next steps on 12 April.
But on Monday the PM is expected to set out a system under which countries are assessed across a range of factors and assigned one of three risk ratings.
‘First post-Covid club event’ for 3,000 in Liverpool
Three thousand people will also be able to attend the UK’s “first post-Covid nightclub” event in Liverpool later this month.
The party will start at Circus in a warehouse at Bramley-Moore Dock on 30 April, with another 3,000 to attend the following day.
People who want to attend must live within a Liverpool postcode and will have to test negative for Covid-19 before entering., according to owner Yousef Zaher. They will also have to take a second test some time after the event.
Mr Zaher added: “Maybe it’ll go down historically in some way, but for me the important thing is to get out of Dodge the best we can, try and get Covid behind us.”
Hugh Brasher, event director of LME, said: “We are doing three different ones to progressively learn from each one.
“So the protocols with each one, there will almost certainly be a slight difference on each one of them, and that is the detail that we’re currently working out with scientists and DCMS (Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport).”
Mr Brasher said the event is an “important milestone”, adding: “We absolutely believe that this is a key step to a lot of big events happening over the whole of the summer period.”
The other pilot events include the FA Cup and Caraboa Cup finals at Wembley and a nightclub in Liverpool.
Mass brawls on Edinburgh’s Meadows leave police officers hospitalised
Police have hit out at politicians for “offloading predictable problems” onto law enforcement after an officer was hospitalised with a facial injury while responding to mass brawls at an Edinburgh park.
As warm weather coupled with the end of stay-at-home orders in Scotland drew thousands of people to the Meadows on Saturday, footage showed groups of young men fighting in various brawls.
Police Scotland said on Sunday that three people had so far been charged in connection with anti-social behaviour and a serious assault, and said officers were searching for others involved in various incidents.
Police searching for 100 people who attended illegal music event in Stanford-le-Hope
Police are working to identify around 100 people who were present at an unlicensed music event in Stanford-le-Hope on Saturday night.
Officers responded to reports of a large gathering on land off Buckingham Hill Road at around 10.50pm yesterday. The group dispersed as officers arrived.
Music equipment was seized from the scene.
Chief inspector Richard Melton said: “We will continue to respond to reports of clear and blatant breaches of the regulations like this unlicensed music event.
“Even though the people who attended left the scene when they saw our officers arrive, we are now working to identify those who were there in order to issue them with fines for breaching the Covid-19 regulations.
“Over the Easter bank holiday weekend officers and staff will be carrying out additional patrols across the county to keep you safe and respond to your calls for help.
“If everyone keeps playing their part, we can stay focused on catching criminals. it’s what we’re here for and we know it’s what you want us to do.”