Friday evening UK news briefing: Face mask free summer ahead, say government advisers

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Your evening briefing from The Telegraph
Your evening briefing from The Telegraph

The public should be able to ditch face masks over the summer as vaccines do the heavy lifting in controlling Covid-19, Government scientific advisers believe.

There is nothing currently in the data to suggest that people will not be able to enjoy a relatively normal summer, it has been suggested, though coronavirus cases may well rise as the autumn approaches.

It leaves the UK's position in stark contrast to that in India, where a record breaking 332,730 Covid infections were reported over the last 24 hours as a variant rips through the country and the health system has become completely overwhelmed.

Joe Wallen has this dispatch from Mumbai and Science Editor Sarah Knapton details how the Indian variant is now the most imported form of the virus.

Meanwhile, Covid testing firms that overcharge could be named and shamed in a Government league table in a bid to drive added costs below £50 per person for summer holidays. Charles Hymas has the details.

France will ease its domestic travel restrictions next month as the prime minister declared its "third wave" over, raising hopes the country could reopen to British visitors sooner than expected.

Here are the forgotten "green list" islands, where you can avoid the crowds this summer.

Ryan Giggs charged and will not lead Wales at Euros

The Wales manager and Manchester United great Ryan Giggs has been charged with actual bodily harm, common assault and "coercive and controlling behaviour", and will not lead the national team at this summer's European championships. Giggs, 47, will plead not guilty to the charges which relate to an incident at his home in Worsley, east Manchester, on Nov 1. The Football Association of Wales will ask Robert Page, Giggs' assistant, who has lead the team since Giggs' arrest in November to oversee the Euros campaign. Read on for details.

Great white shark could reach UK waters, say scientists

A great white shark could reach UK waters, scientists have said, as it becomes the second in history to be tracked crossing the Atlantic. 17-foot female shark Nukumi has taken a surprising route towards Europe from America, across the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, which is hardly ever crossed. The 50-year-old matriarch is the largest ever tagged in the region by scientists who are monitoring her, and it is believed she has taken a roundabout route because she is pregnant. See a map showing her path.

At a glance: Coronavirus evening briefing

Also in the news: Today's other headlines

'False accusations' | Dominic Cummings has claimed Boris Johnson knew he was not involved in leaking lockdown plans from Downing Street, and accused him of trying to stop an official inquiry into the matter to protect his fiancee's friend. Read on for details of the extraordinary diatribe where he said Mr Johnson had fallen "so far below the standards of competence and integrity the country deserves".

Around the world: Palestinians clash with far-Right

More than a hundred Palestinians and 20 Israeli police officers have been wounded in east Jerusalem during clashes with an extreme-Right group that chanted "death to Arabs". Israeli police said 44 people were arrested in confrontations between Palestinians, who were protesting Ramadan restrictions, and the ultra-nationalist Lehava group which was marching against a series of anti-Jewish attacks. Read on for details.

Friday interview

'I am fighting for the right to say men can never be women'

Maya Forstater
Maya Forstater

Maya Forstater is at the centre of a fierce debate about transgender rights, with author JK Rowling rushing to her defence

Read the full interview

Comment and analysis

Editor's choice: Features and arts

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  3. Academy Awards | The 25 biggest shocks and snubs in Oscars history

Business and money briefing

Green credentials | The Greens candidate for German chancellor is the surprise winner of a poll of business leaders, signalling potential upheaval for the country's long-standing political consensus.

Sport briefing

European Super League | Arsène Wenger has warned that Europe dreams of destroying the Premier League and revealed his shock at how the English clubs were drawn into the disastrous Super League plan. It came as Arsenal's chief executive today spoke to all staff on a call to apologise. JP Morgan, the Wall Street investment bank at the centre of the plan, has also apologised. Yet EFL chairman Rick Parry reckons the league's collapse means Project Big Picture should be back on the table.

Three things for tonight

And finally... for this evening's downtime

Prince Louis turns three | As the Cambridges' youngest son marks his third birthday, Harry Mount remembers how the rest of the Royal family looked when they reached the same milestone.

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.

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