British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will spend 10 days self-isolating after contact with a confirmed coronavirus case, his office said on Sunday – reversing an earlier announcement that he would not have to self-quarantine.
Johnson’s office said on Sunday that the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak had both been alerted overnight by the UK telephone test and traceability app. He had a meeting on Friday with Health Secretary Sajid Javid, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday. Javid, who has been fully vaccinated, says he’s showing mild symptoms.
People notified through the app are expected to self-isolate, although this is not a legal requirement. Contacts of positive cases are generally advised to self-isolate for 10 days.
Johnson’s office initially said the Prime Minister and Sunak would instead take a daily coronavirus test as part of an alternative system being piloted at certain workplaces, including government offices.
That plan was canceled less than three hours later after an outcry from voters, political opponents and business owners over apparent special treatment for politicians. Downing Street said Johnson would isolate himself at Checkers, the Prime Minister’s country residence in north-west London, and “will not participate in the pilot test”. He said Sunak will self-isolate as well.
Johnson was critically ill with COVID-19 in April 2020, spending three nights hospitalized in intensive care.
His isolation comes as his government prepares to lift the remaining lockdown measures on Monday. Nightclubs may reopen in England for the first time since March 2020, sports and entertainment venues may admit full crowds, and face masks are no longer mandatory indoors.
But the government is urging people to be careful as cases rise due to the highly transmissible delta variant of the virus first identified in India. More than 54,000 new infections were confirmed on Saturday, the highest daily total since January. Hospitalizations and deaths are also on the rise but remain well below previous peaks of infection thanks to vaccination. More than two-thirds of UK adults have received both vaccines.
British officials look nervously at Israel and the Netherlands, both of which have opened up society after vaccinating most of the population. The two countries recently reimposed some restrictions after further outbreaks of infection.
What’s happening across Canada
As of 10:30 a.m. ET Sunday, Canada had reported 1,423,096 confirmed cases of COVID-19, of which 4,710 were considered active. The COVID-19 death toll in the country stood at 26,498. More than 44.8 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered across the country to date, according to a CBC News tally.
In the Atlantic provinces, Prince Edward Island marks its first day of letting fully vaccinated Canadians in from outside the Maritimes without needing to self-isolate after arriving on the island. The province currently has no known active cases of COVID-19.
New Brunswick reported a new case on Sunday, while New Scotland had not yet provided an update.
In its last update on Friday, Newfoundland and Labrador reported no new cases and its active cases stood at 46, almost all on board two ships anchored in Conception Bay.
Ontario reported 177 new cases and six new deaths on Sunday. The province has moved to Stage 3 of its reopening plan, which allows eating and drinking indoors at restaurants, bars and nightclubs.
In Quebec, the province is running a $ 2 million cash and scholarship lottery to encourage more people to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
When the lottery was announced on Friday, the province’s goal of vaccinating 75 percent of Quebecers aged 18 to 34 with their first dose this summer was around 80,000 people. In all eligible age groups, 82% of Quebecers had received their first injection.
Other provinces are taking a similar approach to encourage more people to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Alberta offers $ 3 million in lottery winnings and additional rewards, such as travel packages and outdoor prizes, including lifetime hunting licenses. Meanwhile, Manitoba distributes nearly $ 2 million in cash and purses.
Manitoba reported 62 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, while Saskatchewan reported 33 new cases.
British Columbia, which lifted most of its COVID-19 restrictions on Canada Day, is expected to further ease measures for long-term care homes. Starting Monday, visitors will no longer need to plan their visits in advance, and there will no longer be a limit on the number of visitors each resident can have, provided visitors are fully vaccinated.
In the North, the territories continue to dominate the country in percentage of eligible residents fully immunized, which stands at 81.5% in Yukon, 77.3 percent in the Northwest Territories and 63 percent in Nunavut.
What is happening in the world
As of Sunday morning, more than 190.1 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported, according to a tool from Johns Hopkins University, which collected data on coronaviruses from countries around the world. The reported death toll stood at over four million.
In Africa, health officials warn that cases of COVID-19 are increasing in Senegal as millions of people in the West African country prepare for the Tabaski holiday. New confirmed cases rose in just a few weeks from dozens a day to a record 738 on Friday, and the health ministry says they then nearly doubled overnight to 1,366 on Saturday.
President Macky Sall and his cabinet are limiting public gatherings and travel and urging the public to continue to wear masks and to frequently disinfect their hands.
In the Americas, Mexico’s health ministry reported 12,631 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 225 additional deaths on Saturday. The number of new daily infections increased last week to levels not seen since February.
In AsiaSouth Korea on Sunday sent military jets to replace all 301 crew members of a Navy destroyer on an anti-piracy mission off East Africa after nearly 70 d ‘of them have tested positive for the coronavirus, officials said.
The Vietnamese government has placed the entire southern region in a two-week lockdown from midnight, with confirmed COVID-19 cases topping 3,000 for the third day in a row.
The lockdown order includes the Mekong Delta and the metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City. The country’s financial and economic center is home to more than 35 million people, or nearly a third of the Vietnamese population.
In Europe, new daily cases of confirmed COVID-19 infections are increasing in Italy, and health experts say it is clear that national celebrations by Italian fans after European Championship soccer games are a factor important.
Thousands of fans took to the streets of Rome on July 12 to applaud an open-top bus tour of the Italian national team, which won Euro 2020 by beating England the day before.
Dr Franco Locatelli, a pediatrician who advises the Italian government on anti-pandemic health measures, told La Repubblica daily in an interview on Sunday that “the gatherings and crowds have encouraged viral circulation”. Locatelli said the average age of those infected in Italy is now 28.