Boris Johnson says 19 July is the new “terminus date” for ending Covid restrictions. The Delta (Indian) variant is twice as likely to hospitalise those infected as the Alpha (Kent) variant, warns the Independent, and 40,000 people could die as it sweeps the country this summer. The UK and Australia have agreed a post-Brexit trade deal. The agreement, finalised last night over a dinner of Scottish salmon, Welsh lamb and Aussie wine, will boost Britain’s GDP by 0.02% over the next 15 years. Yesterday was the hottest day of the year, as much of Britain sweltered in 29C temperatures, but the Met Office is forecasting thunderstorms from Wednesday.
Like everyone else in lockdown, Bill and Hillary Clinton were big fans of the sexed-up Netflix period drama Bridgerton. We watched it all in one night, the former US president told the Why Am I Telling You This? podcast. And, like everyone else, Hillary took a liking to the hero – British actor Regé-Jean Page. “Hillary just kept saying over and over again, all night long, ‘That’s the most beautiful man I ever saw on television.’ I kept wanting him to get bumped off after a while.”
British scientists have developed a ceiling-mounted “Covid alarm” that can detect an infected person in a room in just 15 minutes, says the Evening Standard. Cambridgeshire firm Roboscientific claims the sensor has an accuracy rate of 98%-100%. It identifies chemicals produced in the skin or present in the breath of those infected by Covid-19 – and, unlike a PCR test, it is effective even when a carrier doesn’t have any symptoms. The alarm is expected to cost about £5,000.
To unnerve passengers arriving at Sydney airport, the busiest in Australia, the owner of a building under the flight path has painted “Welcome to Perth” on his roof in large letters.
“How do I know if I’ll be hungry on Wednesday?”
Greta Garbo, turning down a dinner invitation
It’s Raheem Sterling. The England footballer, who scored the winning goal against Croatia at Wembley over the weekend, posted this childhood picture on Twitter. The caption read: “Never forget where it started #BoyfromBrent.” Sterling grew up in the London borough of Brent, just 523 yards from the stadium.