The number of new coronavirus cases across the county fell slightly yesterday.

Figures published yesterday showed a further 248 people tested positive across Oxfordshire on Friday.

That was down from a high of 495 new cases on Tuesday, July 20 – and 270 on Friday.

In the past seven days there have been 2,817 new cases in the county – giving a rate of 407.3 new cases per 100,000 people.

Yesterday, 67 people were said to have tested positive in Oxford, 51 in South Oxfordshire, 43 in Cherwell, 39 in West Oxfordshire and 48 in Vale of White Horse.

Oxford’s 67 new cases was a fall on the 129 new cases seen on one day last week.

It came as the government raised the prospect of people being able to attend Premier League matches and other events with more than 20,000 spectators from October – but only if attendees were fully-vaccinated.

Boris Johnson risks provoking further criticism from backbench Conservatives as ministers seek to extend the future use of vaccine passports from nightclubs to sporting stadiums. Their use has been ruled out for nightclubs.

Talks are in an early phase with the Premier League to discuss whether supporters who have not been double-jabbed could be barred from entry, the Press Association reported.

The use of vaccine passports could also be extended to lower divisions and other sports in England as ministers seek to reduce the surge of Covid-19 cases as other restrictions are ended.

While no final decisions have been made, it is currently being discussed whether vaccine passports could be introduced for seated events with a capacity of 20,000 people and over.

In unseated events such as music gigs, where there are greater concerns about strangers mingling and spreading Covid-19, the threshold for their introduction could be as low as 5,000 attendees.

A Government source said: "It's important that fans can continue to watch sporting events over the autumn, which is why we're exploring the role vaccines might play in this.

"This will not only allow full capacity stadiums but has the added bonus of incentivising people of all ages to go and get their jab."

One area still said to be under discussion is whether a recent negative test could allow entry to football matches, but their use has been ruled out for nightclubs.

The Prime Minister sparked a backlash when he made the nightclubs announcement on Monday, as he ended most of England's remaining coronavirus restrictions and allowed the venues to reopen for the first time since March last year.

He said they could also be made a condition of entry for "other venues where large crowds gather", adding: "Proof of a negative test will no longer be sufficient."

Oxford Mail:

The Prime Minister speaks at a press conference from self-isolation at Chequers Picture: PA WIRE

Shadow sports secretary Jo Stevens said: "To insist on vaccine passports less than a month before the start of the season will cause major disruptions, especially for clubs at the lower end of the pyramid.

"Labour has been clear that the use of Covid vaccination status alone will exclude those who can't be vaccinated or haven't had the jab because of delays.

"Being double jabbed doesn't prove you aren't carrying the virus. Testing for access to venues would be more efficient."

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