Coronavirus briefing: Non-essential retailers can open next week

Monday, June 1, 2020

The government are giving daily briefings on the measures being taken in the UK in response to the evolving Covid-19 pandemic.

Keep this page updated for all of the latest information.

 

June 9 - Non-essential retailers to be allowed to open next week

Business Secretary Alok Sharma has confirmed that more retailers will be allowed to reopen on June 15  provided they comply with “Covid-secure” guidelines.

He said the UK was continuing to meet the five tests set out in Boris Johnson’s lockdown roadmap, adding that the move will allow high streets across the country to “spring back to life”.

Businesses looking to open on Monday will be required to complete a Covid-19 specific risk assessment and should visibly display that they have followed guidance.

Enforcement notices can be issued by local authorities and health and safety executives if businesses do not take necessary steps.

Mr Sharma said that businesses such as restaurants, pubs, bars, hairdressers, barbers and nail bars must remain closed but that work is being done to publish further safer working guidance for the industries.

The government has confirmed that 40,883 people have died with coronavirus in total, up by 286 since yesterday.

 

June 8 - Care home testing extended

Matt Hancock has announced an extension of the coronavirus testing regime in English care homes.

The Health Secretary said adult care homes would now be included in the plan after claiming success in his target of getting staff and residents in elderly care settings a test by early June.

He the government has now sent over a million test kits to almost 9,000 elderly care homes.

Extending the scheme, Mr Hancock said: “I can announce that from today all remaining adult care homes in England will be able to order the whole care home testing service for residents and staff.”

He said the service will benefit residents and staff in over 6,000 more care homes, and will give them “certainty and confidence of a high quality coronavirus whether symptomatic or not.

Meanwhile, the total number of coronavirus deaths in the UK stands at 40,597, up by 55 since yesterday, the lowest daily total of newly reported deaths since March 22.

Mr Hancock noted that the number of deaths reported over weekends tends to be lower because of a lag in reporting.

 

June 5 - Hospital visitors to be required to cover faces

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said that from June 15 all hospital visitors and outpatients in England will be required to wear face coverings.

These do not have to be surgical masks, which he said are being prioritised for NHS workers.

All hospital staff must also wear surgical masks at all times while at work and in all parts of the hospital - except specifically designated Covid-secure spaces.

“As we get this virus under control, it is so important that we stamp out new infections and outbreak,” Mr Hancock said.

The government figures today showed that a total of 40,261 people had died across all settings of the UK, up by 357 since yesterday.

 

June 4 - Face coverings to be made mandatory on public transport

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said that face coverings will become mandatory on public transport in England from June 15.

It coincides with the next planned changes to lockdown, when it is expected that non-essential shops will open and some secondary school pupils will return to the classroom.

Those who do not wear a face covering, which does not have to be a surgical mask, may be refused travel and even fined.

Exceptions apply to very young children, disabled people and those with breathing difficulties.

Mr Shapps said: “As passenger numbers increase, and we expect this trend to continue, we need to ensure every precaution is taken on buses, trains, aircraft and on ferries.”

He said evidence suggests face coverings offer “some, albeit limited” protection agains the spread of the virus.

The Cabinet Minister confirmed that government data shows that 39,904 people have died with Covid-19, an increase of 176 since yesterday.

 

June 3 - Vaccine summit to help developing countries

Boris Johnson has called for “humanity to unite” in the fight against coronavirus as he announced a summit that aims to ease the pressure on the world’s poorest countries.

The Prime Minister said: “Health experts have warned that if coronavirus is left to spread in developing countries, that could lead to future waves of infection coming back and reaching the UK.

“Many developing countries have healthcare systems that are ill-prepared to manage this pandemic so to ensure that the world’s poorest countries have the support they need to slow the spread of the virus, tomorrow I will open the global vaccine summit.”

He said the summit will bring together more than 50 countries and figures including Bill Gates, to raise $7.4 billion for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.

Gavi’s immunisation project aims to vaccinate 300 million children globally in five years against illnesses such as polio, typhoid and measles. Mr Johnson said this will save lives and “sure up” healthcare systems to deal with coronavirus.

In the UK 39,728 people have died with Covid-19, up by 359 since yesterday.

 

June 2 - Matt Hancock addresses anti-racism protests

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has addressed anti-racism protests as he confirmed that black and ethnic minority people were at a higher risk of coronavirus.

Public Health England (PHE) released its report into the disparities in who is most affected by Covid-19 earlier today.

Mr Hancock said this evening: “This is a particularly timely publication because right across the world people are angry about racial injustice and I get that.

“Black lives matter and I want to say this to everyone who works in the NHS and in social care: I value the contribution that you make, everybody equally, and I want to say it right across society too.”

The PHE report showed that age was the biggest risk factor for the virus, and that men and those who live in cities are also at a higher risk.

Mr Hancock said that 39,369 people in the UK have died with coronavirus, up by 324 since yesterday.

 

June 1 - Those with symptoms urged to book test

Matt Hancock has urged those displaying coronavirus symptoms to book a test, after he claimed there was currently more capacity than demand.

The Health Secretary said that yesterday 128,437 tests were carried out in the UK, despite capacity now standing at 206,444.

“It is incredibly important for anybody who has symptoms of coronavirus - a cough or a fever or a change in your sense of taste or smell - that you get a test.

“It’s by getting those tests that we’re able to identify those who have got the virus and ensuring that you get the best possible treatment and ensuring that we can then  trace the virus and through that we can control the virus,” he said.

Mr Hancock also confirmed that 39,045 people have died with coronavirus in the UK, up by 111 since yesterday.

Coronavirus tests can be booked online at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by dialling 119.

 

For earlier government announcements, click here.

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