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More than HALF of Brits have now had both Covid jabs

More than half of English residents have now had both coronavirus vaccines as daily cases rise by 161 per cent in a fortnight.

A total of 66,220,122 Covid-19 vaccinations had taken place in England between December 8 and July 3, according to NHS England data, including first and second doses.

NHS England said 37,981,485 were first doses, a rise of 121,588 on the previous day, while 28,238,637 were second doses, an increase of 165,665. 

On Sunday, 137,389 first dose Covid vaccinations and 196,209 second doses were administered. 

The positive vaccination figures come amid a sharp rise in daily cases.    

As of 9am on Sunday, there had been a further 24,248 lab-confirmed Covid-19 cases in the UK, the Government said.

The figure is the highest in 24 hours reported since late January. It is a rise of 63 percent on last Sunday and 161 per cent compared to a fortnight ago. 

The Government said 15 more people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Sunday.

While the number of daily deaths remains low, the figure is a 25 per cent increase on last Sunday’s total.

Separate figures published by the Office for National Statistics show there have been 153,000 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.  

More than half of English residents have now had both coronavirus vaccines as daily cases rise by 161 per cent in a fortnight. Pictured: A man receives a vaccine in Doncaster on June 27

On Sunday, Cabinet minister Robert Jenrick said that after July 19, the wearing of face masks will become a personal choice

Jenrick’s comments came as the new health minister Sajid Javid said the best way to protect the nation’s health is to lift the remaining Covid-19 curbs [File photo]

On Sunday, Cabinet minister Robert Jenrick said that after July 19, the wearing of face masks will become a personal choice.

The Housing Secretary said the latest coronavirus data is ‘very positive’ as Boris Johnson prepares for the final stage in his lockdown exit roadmap. 

Mr Jenrick said ‘the state won’t be telling you what to do’ after rules are eased and there will be a shift in emphasis towards ‘personal choice’ and judgement.  

His comments came as the new health minister Sajid Javid said the best way to protect the nation’s health is to lift the remaining Covid-19 curbs. 

Writing exclusively for The Mail on Sunday, the new Health Secretary said: ‘The economic arguments for opening up are well known, but for me, the health arguments are equally compelling.’

Mr Javid’s remarks represent a sharp change in tone from that of his predecessor Matt Hancock, who was forced to resign last weekend after his affair with an aide was exposed.

Mr Johnson is preparing to announce a raft of measures to come into force from July 19 which will ‘make Britain the most open country in Europe’. 

The Mail on Sunday can reveal that under ‘freedom day’ plans expected to be signed off by the Cabinet tomorrow: 

  • The Prime Minister is ‘determined’ that fully vaccinated Britons will be able to travel to amber-list countries including Spain and Greece without having to self-isolate when they return;
  • Wearing face masks will become voluntary everywhere – including on public transport – with the exception of hospitals and other healthcare settings; 
  • Those who have received two doses of a vaccine will not be required to self-isolate or take Covid-19 tests if they are alerted that they have come into contact with someone with the virus – but tests will still be available for all those who want them; 
  • The school ‘bubbles’ system that has seen hundreds of thousands of pupils being forced to self-isolate at home will be axed and replaced with daily testing; 
  • Restaurants, pubs and shops will no longer have to demand that customers provide their personal data or sign in with a ‘QR’ code. 

Sajid Javid (pictured) today said the best way to protect the nation’s health is to lift the remaining coronavirus restrictions

Mr Jenrick told Sky News this morning that the nation is ‘now reaching a different phase in the virus’. 

‘We are not going to put the Covid-19 virus behind us forever, we are going to have to learn to live with it,’ he said. 

‘But thanks to the enormous success of our vaccine programme the fact that now we have got to the point where 83 per cent of adults in this country have had at least one jab, we should be able to think about how we can return to normality as much as possible.

‘The data that we are seeing that the Prime Minister is reviewing at the moment ahead of his decision point on the road map looks very positive.

‘It does seem as if we can now move forward and move to a much more permissive regime where we move away from many of those restrictions that have been so difficult for us and learn to live with the virus.

‘That does mean that we are going to have to treat it carefully, we are going to have to keep on monitoring the cases and we are going to have to ensure that every adult gets double-vaxxed because that is the key to keeping the virus under control as we move into the autumn and the winter.’

Some scientific experts have called for the rules on wearing face masks in shops and on public transport to be retained. 

But Mr Jenrick said wearing face coverings will be made a matter of choice and personal responsibility. 

He said: ‘Like many people I want to get away from these restrictions as quickly as I possibly can and we don’t want them to stay in place for a day longer than is necessary. 

‘We are going to, I think, now move into a period where there won’t be legal restrictions, the state won’t be telling you what to do, but you will want to exercise a degree of personal responsibility and judgement.

‘So different people will come to different conclusions on things like masks for example.’

Asked directly if he will ditch his mask should he be permitted to do so, the Housing Secretary said: ‘I will. I don’t particularly want to wear a mask. I don’t think a lot of people enjoy doing it.

‘We will be moving into a phase where these will be matters of personal choice and so some members of society will want to do so for perfectly legitimate reasons.

‘But it will be a different period where we as private citizens make these judgements rather than the Government telling you what to do.’  

Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk

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