People told to isolate will be offered somewhere else to live

New pilots are being launched across England to encourage people to get tested for Covid-19 and to follow self-isolation rules.

Pilots will include increased social welfare support for vulnerable adults, buddy services for people in need of mental health assistance, and translation assistance for non-English speakers.

Alternative accommodation is also offered to people isolating in overcrowded houses in the trial areas.

The government has allocated £ 11.9 million to the pilots, split between local authorities in nine areas with high infection rates.

The local authorities include Newham and Hackney in London, Yorkshire and Humber, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Merseyside, Peterborough and Somerset.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said, “We know how difficult self-isolation is for many people and these pilots will help us find the best ways to support people and make it easier for everyone to do their part.”

The government announced on Sunday that 60.6 million first and second vaccine doses have been administered since December 8th.

The number includes 37.9 million people who received a first dose, 72% of the UK population, and 22.6 million had both (43%).

The number of second doses given in the UK hit a daily record of 556,951 on Saturday.

The government continued to urge people to get a second dose to stay protected from new coronavirus variants.

Mr Hancock said: “Shortly after vaccinating over 70% of adults in the UK with a first dose, we have reached another incredible milestone with a total of over 60 million doses.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock (Yui Mok / PA)

“Our groundbreaking immunization program, the largest and most successful in the history of the NHS, is another great UK success story and testament to what can be achieved when all four corners of the country come together to defeat this virus.”

On Saturday, 762,361 first and second doses were given, the highest daily total since March 20.

A study by Public Health England (PHE) found that the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine was 88% effective against the Indian variant of the coronavirus after two doses.

The study, which took place between April 5 and May 16, found that the shock against symptomatic diseases of the B1617.2 strain was almost as effective as against the Kent variant, with an effectiveness of 93%.

The AstraZeneca shock was 60% effective compared to 66% with the Kent variant over the same period.

Both vaccines were 33% effective against symptomatic diseases of the Indian variant three weeks after the first dose, compared with about 50% against the Kent strain.

Dr. Jenny Harries, executive director of the UK Health Security Agency, said the opportunity to relax restrictions on June 21st “looks good”.

However, she urged the public to be careful to avoid another lockdown and warned that the new Indian variant has become the “dominant strain” in some parts of the country.

She told BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show, “It looks good if people keep watching all safety signals. That is why we should not stop doing what we are doing, especially in areas where we have this variant of concern, the B1617.2, in the north-west and around London.

Coronavirus - Wed May 19, 2021

Dr. Jenny Harries has urged caution despite the positive signs (Toby Melville / PA)

“It’s really important that people keep doing their hands, face, space and work from home, having their bumps and taking tests as well.”

“We all have to be very careful and I think we all don’t want to go back to the locks we had. It doesn’t matter if you’re with Sage (Scientific Emergency Advisory Group) or with Sage in public, none of us want to go back to this type of restriction. “

Nightclubs cannot reopen until June 21 at the earliest, and restrictions on large events such as festivals are to be lifted, as are restrictions on the number of people at weddings.

Professor Adam Finn, member of the Government’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization, said the June 21 lifting of restrictions may be “adjusted”.

He told Times Radio on Sunday: “We are effectively in a race with the virus vaccination program.

“We know we’re letting the virus out by spreading it now. We know we’re making good progress with the vaccination program, but I think some kind of adjustment will be needed.”

Restrictions in Northern Ireland are easing on Monday as indoor hospitality resumes and people are allowed to meet in private homes for the first time this year.

Due to the relaxation agreed at the board meeting on Thursday, Stormont’s Stay Local message was also removed.

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