Friday evening UK news briefing: Full scale of Britain's long Covid challenge emerges

·6 min read
Your evening briefing from The Telegraph
Your evening briefing from The Telegraph

The scale of the UK's long Covid problem has been exposed by official figures, which reveal 376,000 people are suffering with symptoms more than a year after catching coronavirus.

Numbers from the Office for National Statistics reveal that, as of May 2, one million people had symptoms lasting more than four weeks, the threshold for long Covid.

The Telegraph spent a day at one of the NHS's new long Covid clinics in Birmingham - watch a video of what they are like.

It comes as the UK regulator approved the use of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine for 12 to 15-year-olds, which is already being given to children in countries like the US, pictured above.

Meanwhile, the number of people in England with Covid-19 has increased by about three quarters in a week, figures show.

Elsewhere, it has emerged half of Britons who had booked a Tui holiday to Portugal for this month are still planning to travel there, according to Europe's largest tour operator.

Stories of stranded families, ruined plans and financial loss have flooded in since the country was moved from the green to amber travel list.

Some small consolation may come from the news that France will lift its self-isolation rule for fully-vaccinated Britons who arrive in the country from next Wednesday, although it also remains on the amber list.

If you have given up on the idea of summer abroad this year, here are 25 great British holiday alternatives.

Police dismantle migrant camp after 700 cross to UK

French police today dismantled a camp outside Calais housing around 800 migrants seeking to reach Britain in one of the biggest such operations in months. The move, involving hundreds of officers, was the latest in a string of operations to remove such camps amid a sharp rise in Channel crossings by boat this year - some 568 last weekend and at least 50 on Wednesday alone. Watch a video about life on the frontline of the migrant crisis in Kent and see pictures of the evacuation of the camp.

Why Tom Cruise's mission looks nigh on impossible

The seemingly cursed production of Mission: Impossible 7 has been beset by delays ever since it had the bad fortune to start filming in Italy in February 2020 – ground zero for coronavirus in Europe. The latest has just landed, with the final weeks of production in the UK halted until June 14 due to a positive Covid test on set. Amid pandemic shutdowns, Polish bureaucracy and motorcycle stunts gone wrong, Ed Power goes inside the unluckiest Hollywood shoot in recent memory.

At a glance: Coronavirus evening briefing

Also in the news: Today's other headlines

Hillsborough disaster | Hundreds of Hillsborough victims have been given payouts for "psychiatric injury" following allegations of a police cover-up, it has emerged. Today, lawyers for the families confirmed that two police forces, South Yorkshire and West Midlands, had agreed the settlement following a civil claim on behalf of 601 people. Details here.

Around the world: Starvation 'used as weapon of war'

Ethiopia is on course to suffer a famine last seen in the 1980s, when mass starvation killed about a million people, the UN's humanitarian chief has warned. In an exclusive interview with Will Brown, Mark Lowcock implored warring parties in Ethiopia's northern Tigray Region to agree to an immediate ceasefire or face one of the greatest tragedies of this century. Read how the conflict led to this perilous point.

Friday interview

Des Lynam on the BBC's decline - and 'sexy football' at Euro '96

Des Lynam
Des Lynam

The legendary anchorman opens up to Simon Briggs about why his former employers are now a 'minority sports channel' - and why he stays off social media

Read the full interview

Comment and analysis

Editor's choice

  1. Sally Solves | 'My house burned down but my insurer refused £675k in cover - here's why'

  2. Crisis point | 'The day I started drinking vodka in the morning, I realised I had a problem'

  3. TV Baftas predictions | Who will win and who should win

Business and money briefing

G7 gathering | A corporate tax deal at the G7 is "in sight", according to European finance ministers, while the group meeting at London's Lancaster House today and tomorrow are expected to express "strong support" for a new global system. Click here to see a graph comparing how corporate tax rates differ in countries around the world.

Sport briefing

Welsh fight | Video footage has emerged of the training-group scrap which left Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones with a black eye earlier this year. Jones, who was recently named British and Irish Lions captain for the upcoming tour of South Africa, can be seen in the video exchanging punches with former Wales second row Jake Ball. Read on for details.

Three things for tonight

And finally... for this evening's downtime

It's alive! | An 8ft-tall animatronic Creature will greet visitors at Bath's new dedicated Frankenstein museum. Jake Kerridge examines the first faithful take on Mary Shelley's monster.

If you want to receive twice-daily briefings like this by email, sign up to the Front Page newsletter here. For two-minute audio updates, try The Briefing - on podcasts, smart speakers and WhatsApp.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting