Coronavirus live news: vaccinated ‘three times less likely to test positive’; 220,000 children in England jabbed

By Alex Mistlin (now) and Martin Farrer (earlier)

05:19

The head of Australia’s Covid vaccination program, Lt Gen John Frewen, says the government may yet use cash incentives to encourage take-up.

Frewen also said it was “mathematically” possible for 80% of eligible Australians to be fully immunised by December.

“It really is about people in Australia coming forward and coming forward with some urgency to get vaccinated,” he said.

You can read the full report from Guardian Australia’s chief political correspondent, Sarah Martin, here:

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The Scottish government has admitted that continuing to mandate mask-wearing in nightclubs could be “tricky” on the dancefloor, after industry leads slammed the notion as “ridiculous and dangerous”.

The first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, announced the ending of most legal coronavirus restrictions on Tuesday, but the wearing of face coverings in indoor settings will remain mandatory “for some time to come” - this includes in nightclubs.

Donald MacLeod, who owns the Garage and Cathouse nightclubs in Glasgow, immediately responded that making people wearing masks on a dancefloor was a “ridiculous and dangerous idea which effectively makes opening unviable”.

This morning the deputy first minister, John Swinney, told Good Morning Scotland that he accepted mask-wearing for clubbers would be “a challenge” and insisted that discussions with the nighttime industry were ongoing today.

Stephen Montgomery, of the Scottish Hospitality Group, said he hoped the government could be convinced to waive the face covering rules for night clubs. On the same programme, he said: “That discussion will go on today with government officials and hopefully, fingers crossed, we’ll be able to convince the first minister in some way to do away with face coverings in nightclub settings. At least give us some clear guidance because these guys are really on their knees now.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon during a visit to the Connect Community Trust’s Connie Centre in Glasgow.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon during a visit to the Connect Community Trust’s Connie Centre in Glasgow. Photograph: Andy Buchanan/PA

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04:19

Israel, home to one of the world’s most successful vaccination drives, has decided to reinstate several restrictions to combat coronavirus amid a wave of rising infections, our Middle East correspondent, Bethan McKernan reports.

The government announced late on Tuesday after a cabinet meeting that tighter measures including only allowing vaccinated people at indoor gatherings of 100 or more people, requiring masks at outdoor gatherings of more than 100 people, and ordering government agencies to reduce the number of people working in offices to 50% would be introduced from Sunday.

The health ministry has also moved to impose stricter regulations for people arriving from abroad: all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, arriving from the US and 17 other countries must now quarantine for 14 days starting from 11 August.

Despite Israel’s early successes in the fight against Covid-19, the country is grappling with a post-vaccination wave of infections caused by the highly infectious Delta variant.

A record 3,834 new Covid cases were recorded on Tuesday – the highest daily number since March.

The prime minister, Naftali Bennett, is also considering new lockdowns from next month, Israeli media reported. Israel is “in a competition between vaccines and epidemics, between an open country and more restrictions”, he said in comments carried by Hebrew news outlets.

Over 57% of the country’s 9.3 million citizens are fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

Last week, Israel became the first country to announce it would begin offering a third coronavirus shot to people over 60 who have already been vaccinated. More than 100,000 people have received the booster shot.

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Double vaccinated people three times less likely than unvaccinated people to test positive for Covid-19, finds major study

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