Coronavirus latest news: Americans urged not to travel to UK
The State Department has elevated the UK to “do not travel” status amid a surge in Covid-19 cases in Britain.
Following the updated advice from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States, Britain has been placed at the highest warning level, meaning Americans should not visit except in an emergency.
The UK recorded more than 48,000 new cases on Monday, and there is concern in Washington that the virus could spread even among the vaccinated.
‘I’ve seen grown men cry’: the humanitarian crisis at sea
“I’ve seen grown men cry,” says Captain Tejinder Singh, who hasn’t set foot on dry land in more than seven months and isn’t sure when he’ll go home.
It’s a plight facing tens of thousands of seafarers like him, stranded at sea as the delta variant wreaks havoc on shore.
“People don’t know how their supermarkets are stocked up,” he says.
Captain Singh and his 20-strong crew are among about 100,000 seafarers stranded at sea beyond their regular stints of typically 3-9 months, according to the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS); many without even a day’s break on land. Another 100,000 are stuck on shore, unable to board the ships they need to earn a living on.
The delta variant devastating parts of Asia – home to many of the world’s 1.7 million commercial seafarers – has prompted many nations to cut off land access to visiting crews, in some cases even for medical treatment.
Only 2.5pc of seafarers have been vaccinated.
The United Nations describes the situation as a humanitarian crisis at sea and says governments should class seafarers as essential workers.
Given ships transport around 90pc of the world’s trade, the deepening crisis also poses a major threat to the supply chains we rely on for everything from oil and iron to food and electronics.
China on Tuesday reported the highest daily tally of new confirmed Covid cases since January, driven by a surge in imported infections in Yunnan province, where cases are spilling over from an “alarming spike” in neighbouring Myanmar.
Mainland China recorded 65 new confirmed cases for July 19, compared with 31 a day earlier, the National Health Commission said. That was the most since January 30, when 92 cases were reported.
Imported infections accounted for most of the new cases reported for July 19, with Yunnan reporting 41 cases originating from abroad, all of whom were Chinese nationals who recently returned from Myanmar.
A third Australian state announced lockdown rules on Tuesday to combat the delta variant’s spread.
South Australia has entered week-long restrictions, joining an extended lockdown in Victoria and a five-week shutdown in Sydney.
New South Wales is battling the worst Covid outbreak of this year, with cases exceeding 1,400 since the first case was reported more than a month ago in a limousine driver who transported overseas airline crew.
NSW authorities reported a slight slowdown in new cases on Tuesday as infections fell to 78 from 98 a day earlier.
At least 21 of the new cases were infectious while still in the community; a number that authorities said must be close to zero in order for lockdown restrictions to be lifted.
Ninety-five cases are now in hospitals in NSW, with 27 in intensive care, 11 of whom are on ventilators. Five deaths have been reported during the latest outbreak.
The Pfizer coronavirus vaccine has been linked to Bell’s palsy after a 61-year-old British man suffered facial paralysis after each dose of the vaccine.
In an article in the journal BMJ Case Reports, Dr Abigail Burrows, of Royal Surrey County Hospital, described how the man experienced paralysis to the right side of his face five hours after the first jab.
He attended the emergency department after he was unable to close his left eye properly or move the left side of his forehead and was given a course of steroids. Six weeks later, he suffered paralysis to the left side of his face two days after his second dose, causing him to dribble and have difficulty swallowing.
Although the condition cleared up after a further course of steroids, Dr Burrows advised medics to be on the lookout for the condition in patients who have recently received the jab.
Andrew Lloyd Webber has accused the Government of idiocy after the “blunt instrument” of its self-isolation rules resulted in the cancellation of performances of his West End show Cinderella.
The theatre impresario said the current system is “completely, completely untenable” and his industry has been left “on its knees”.
He had earlier announced Cinderella would not be returning to the stage on Monday after a member of the cast tested positive for Covid-19 on Saturday.
“I say this from the heart, I am seeing the profession I have loved, I’m seeing musical theatre I think I had a small part in pioneering in this country at a time when frankly the British were not considered to be people who could do musicals,” he said.
“And I am just saying it with passion – please, please will this Government for once listen to us.
“Listen. We do know what we’re doing, we do. Just listen and knock all these platitudes and endless, endless blunt instruments that don’t apply across the board.”
He added that “I have tried and I have tried and I have tried” to work with the Government and prove theatres are safe.