Latest updates: UK records 33,551 new cases and 35 deaths; Nicola Sturgeon says masks will probably remain compulsory in some settings
No quarantine for fully vaccinated amber list returnees in England
Boris Johnson announces end to UK military mission in Afghanistan
PM criticised over handling of Mustique holiday investigation
Sunak suggests changes to test-and-trace app to cut numbers isolating
Coronavirus – latest global updates
It’s important I think to remind all of us that a move to level zero does not mean the immediate end of all restrictions.
Many of the baseline measures like face coverings, physical distancing, hand hygiene and advising on ventilation, these are going to continue to be important mitigations to protect us and others from the virus for some time yet.
Breaking: Understand the Stormont executive has agreed that from 26 July, double jabbed travellers returning to NI from Amber countries won’t need to isolate. A week later than England is planning but will be welcome news to many…
Also understand ministers have agreed that 26 July will be an indicative date to allow the following – subject to approval on 22 July:
Theatres reopen with mitigations
Return of conferences
Live music indoors no restrictions on sound levels
Increase on no people meeting @ home
Also from 26 July potentially:
Close contact services will no longer have to operate appointment only
Remove requirement for face coverings to be worn in places of worship
Understand August will see executive discuss removing face masks more widely, ending social distancing etc
Understand full return of live music and dancing pushed back to be looked at again in August as well
Northern Ireland’s so called “freedom day” likely to be in August when Executive will consider relaxing all restrictions – if the data allows
Sir Keir Starmer has been meeting political leaders in Belfast today.
After their meeting, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, the DUP leader, said he told Starmer the Northern Ireland protocol undermined the Good Friday agreement. Donaldson said in a statement:
It was Labour prime ministers who oversaw the signing of both the Belfast and St Andrews agreements. Both the principle of consent as well as the interlocking and interdependent nature of the three-stranded approach on which those agreements are based have been fundamentally damaged by the Northern Ireland protocol.
The protocol undermines those foundational agreements and the consensus so necessary for progress. I underscored my commitment to making Northern Ireland work and urged Sir Keir and his team to work with us as we seek to deal with the flawed withdrawal agreement and restore Northern Ireland fully within the UK internal market.
Great to catch up with Labour Leader @Keir_Starmer & @LouHaigh today. Good opportunity to discuss Covid, Brexit and Legacy and our shared view that agreements made by the British Government must be implemented pic.twitter.com/MHTd1X7uI1