Second vaccine doses could be brought forward as Indian variant cases soar
Ministers are poised to order further action in response to the spread of the Indian coronavirus variant of concern.
It comes after new figures showed cases of the strain have more than doubled in a week.
Public Health England said it was assessing the impact and severity of the variant.
One response being considered is bringing forward the date for a second dose of vaccine for eligible groups to increase protection.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the situation was being monitored carefully and the Government “will not hesitate to take further action if necessary”.
Israeli ground troops launch attack on Gaza as conflict escalates
Israel’s military has said troops have launched a ground operation on the Gaza strip following days of airstrikes.
The move marks a significant escalation in violence between Palestinian militants and Israeli forces, which had been worsening in recent days.
Israeli officials had said Hamas, Gaza’s most powerful militant group, must be dealt a strong deterring blow before any ceasefire.
Gaza militants and Israeli forces have been trading attacks for days, following a police raid at a Jerusalem mosque above a site revered by both Muslims and Jews.
British holidaymakers’ travel plans in doubt as Portugal extends lockdown
British holidaymakers hoping to jet off to Portugal as soon as UK travel restrictions lift are facing uncertainty after the nation’s government decided to extend its lockdown.
As of May 17 the “stay in the UK” restriction will lift, meaning people will be able to go to green list countries, which includes Portugal.
But guidance published on the Portuguese Government’s website on Thursday stated that ministers had approved a move to continue the “state of calamity” until at least May 30.
Covid mask guidance relaxed for fully vaccinated Americans
Joe Biden has described the easing of mask-wearing guidance in the US for those who are fully vaccinated against coronavirus as a “great day for America”.
Those who have completed the inoculation programme are now allowed to stop using face coverings outdoors in crowds and in most indoor settings.
Social distancing can also cease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Trent Alexander-Arnold shines to give Liverpool top-four hope
Liverpool edged out Manchester United in a thrilling game as Trent Alexander-Arnold’s brilliance was enough to hand the Reds a huge top-four boost.
In the week in which they were dethroned as Premier League champions, Liverpool responded with a performance akin to last season as Jurgen Klopp recorded his first win at Old Trafford.
The 2-4 victory meant Liverpool moved above West Ham into fifth place on 60 points.
Klopp's side are four points behind Chelsea, who occupy the fourth Champions League slot but have a game in hand.