Coronavirus latest: Chicago adds Florida, Louisiana and Nevada to travel advisory list

Business urged the UK government to “get control” on Tuesday after ministers clashed over self-isolation advice and Downing Street refused to produce a list of roles in which people could keep going to work even if “pinged” by the NHS app. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Monday that critical workers with two jabs would be able to avoid self-isolation if they provided — for example — “food, water, electricity, medicines … the defence of the realm”.

Renewed tests of blood samples collected in Italy as early as October 2019 have revived a debate over whether coronavirus was circulating in Europe before China confirmed the first case in Wuhan. Scientists from Milan’s Istituto Nazionale Tumori, a cancer research centre, wrote in a new paper that retesting of a small number of pre-pandemic blood samples by two laboratories had indicated the presence of antibodies normally observed after coronavirus infections.

Shakespeare’s Globe theatre in London is selling 200 of its standing-only tickets in the wake of the relaxed coronavirus rules in England. The £5 tickets for the ground in front of the stage, aimed at capturing the atmosphere of the English playwright’s day, will be for performances from the opening night of Twelfth Night on July 29.

Anthony Fauci indicated the top US public health agency was reviewing its guidelines for children wearing masks in the classroom, regardless of vaccination status. Fauci sought to clear up confusion as education officials in several cities and states indicate that masks will, or may, be required in schools because they are unable to meet health guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that would exempt fully vaccinated individuals from wearing face coverings.

US health officials on Tuesday said the more contagious Delta variant accounts for more than 80 per cent of new coronavirus cases in the country and urged Americans to get vaccinated noting it is “the most powerful tool we have”. “[The] CDC has released estimates of variants across the country and predicted the Delta variant now represents 83 per cent of sequenced cases,” Dr Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in testimony before the Senate health committee.

Indonesia is extending distancing measures implemented at the beginning of the month in an effort to contain a severe Covid-19 wave that has pushed its healthcare sector to the brink. Joko Widodo, Indonesia’s president, lengthened restrictions that were meant to end on Tuesday until Sunday as south-east Asia’s largest economy fights the worst outbreak in the region.

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