Maisie Ayres, aged 18, receives her vaccine at Tottenham Hotspur’s stadium (Image: PA)
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Long queues of young adults at Covid vaccine centres across the nation have dispelled fears that few of them would get the jab.
Over a million vaccine appointments were booked in England on Friday and Saturday after the NHS opened its inoculation programme to anyone of 18 and above.
There are hopes the Government will start allowing double-jabbed Brits to have holidays in amber list countries without needing to self-isolate for 10 days on their return.
Social media firms such as YouTube, Snapchat and TikTok today join a drive to boost take-up in young adults. The firms will create “I’ve had my jab” stickers for users to add to profiles.
Queues outside a vaccine centre in Manchester
(Image: ZENPIX LTD)
Snapchat’s UK manager Ed Couchman said they are “thrilled” to help the push to ensure people “have accurate resources to stay safe and informed”.
Young adults descended on jab centres yesterday – and dreamed of concerts, festivals and sunshine hols.
Manchester Royal Infirmary’s Oxford Road Campus was among the many places where queues formed.
At Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in North London, club legends Ossie Ardiles, Ledley King and Gary Mabbutt were on hand as the ground became a pop-up clinic.
The club screened Euro 2020 matches as people waited and hoped that being jabbed would lead to gaining more freedom this summer.
People queue outside an NHS vaccination clinic at Tottenham Hotspur's stadium
There is increasing pressure on ministers to relax travel restrictions.
On Wednesday, 800 staff from airlines and holiday company TUI will march on Westminster to call on Boris Johnson to add tourist hot spots to the green list for quarantine-free travel.
Manchester Airports Group chief of staff Tim Hawkins said: “We’re really concerned we are facing a summer with the prospect of so little traffic.
“Over a million jobs rely on the aviation industry in the UK. We hope ministers listen to these concerns.
Long queues for a walk-in Covid vaccination clinic in Eastville Park, Bristol
(Image: Tom Wren SWNS)
“There is a huge disparity in the UK approach and other countries, where travel is allowed under less stringent conditions. People with vaccines can travel. If you haven’t been vaccinated you need a pre-departure test.”
The Government is this week expected to update its traffic light regime for overseas trips, though changes are expected to be limited.
Favourite destinations show lower infection rates than the UK. Portugal had 68 cases per 100,000 people over the past week, Spain had 50, Greece 35 and Italy 14. The UK’s rate was 85.1.
There is increasing pressure on ministers to relax travel restrictions
Another 9,284 cases were recorded here yesterday, up 24% on last Sunday, and there were six more deaths.
The 1,008,472 vaccine appointments arranged on Friday and Saturday through the NHS booking service is more than 21,000 every hour.
The true total is likely to be even higher because the number does not include appointments made at GP surgeries or walk-in centres.
Figures show 59.5% of British adults are double-jabbed – over 31.3 million people. Over 81% have had a first dose.
Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said travel rules are under review
(Image: via REUTERS)
Despite people’s hopes about trips abroad, Public Health England’s Covid-19 director Dr Susan Hopkins said: “I think we should be predominantly deciding to holiday at home this summer while we get all of our population vaccinated. But I think we are moving closer… to being able to move around to other countries.”
She suggested to the BBC that all double-jabbed tourists returning from abroad might be able to avoid isolation “in the future”. Hailing the success of the vaccine scheme, Dr Hopkins said infections are stabilising in the North West, but that cases are rising fast in parts of the North East and London.
Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said travel rules are under review.
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The UK has been gradually reopening
(Image: Getty Images)
He added: “Of course there’s frustration – all of us want a holiday in the sun wherever possible – but we want to balance that with the need to control variants of concern.”
He boosted hopes that fully-jabbed people “pinged” by the NHS Covid app as having been close to an infected person may avoid having to self-isolate.
Scientists are warning of more pain ahead.
Dr Hopkins said: “We may have to do further lockdowns this winter.”
Professor Calum Semple, of Sage, said: “I suspect we’ll have a pretty miserable winter because the other respiratory viruses are going to come back and bite us quite hard.
“But I think we’ll be seeing business as normal next year.” Leicester University virologist Julian Tang warned the drive to jab all adults may lead to a concentration of cases in children.
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He said: “The virus will concentrate in school-age populations, which will eventually become a… driver of any ensuing Delta variant epidemic, as well as being a hot spot in which new mutations may arise.”
The Department of Health has been forced to insist Matt Hancock showed the PM crucial figures on the success of jabs before No10 chose last week to delay relaxing restrictions.
But critics who wanted the curbs eased sooner said data should have been made available earlier.