Coronavirus UK news LIVE: Boris ends lockdown from July 4 as Brits warned over second wave and deaths hit 42,927

BORIS Johnson announced a raft of lockdown changes as Brits can rejoice in seeing many businesses and services reopen.

But the Prime Minister has warned that he will not hesitate to 'reverse' lockdown should there be a second wave, although admits there is currently no risk of it.

Mr Johnson revealed the two-metre social distancing restriction will be reduced to 'one metre plus' from July 4 in England.

Meanwhile, Brits can enjoy the reopening of pubs and restaurants, go for a haircut as hairdressers prepare to reopen and stay overnight at hotels.

But Professor Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance warned that there could be a winter spike in cases as we could be living with the virus "for a very long time".

And data from the Office for National Statistics reveal that Covid-related deaths are nearly 54,000 – despite today's official government figures sitting at 42, 927.

Follow our live blog for the latest news and updates on coronavirus…

 

  • AUSTRALIA REPORTS FIRST VIRUS DEATH IN MONTHS

    A man in his eighties has become the first person to die from coronavirus in Australia in months.

    The death took place in the state of Victoria yesterday – the state has also logged a double-digit rise in cases for eight days straight.

    Brett Sutton, Victoria Chief Health Officer said: “When we get additional cases, there will be a risk of people dying or be at risk of further cases being hospitalised and going to intensive care.”

  • FORMER CHIEF SCIENTIST SAYS EASING LOCKDOWN IS ‘EXTRAORDINARILY RISKY’

    The former Chief Scientific Adviser David King has said easing lockdown is “extraordinarily risky”.

    He told Sky News Britain needs to aim to get rid of the virus completely before winter.

  • STILL AT RISK

    Former chief scientific adviser Sir David King has warned the easing of the coronavirus lockdown in the UK is “extraordinarily risky”.

    Sir King told Sky News that the country should aim to win the fight against the bug before the winter.

  • SCREEN SLAVES

    UK adults have spent more than a quarter of their waking lives online during lockdown, a study says.

    Regulator Ofcom’s latest Online Nation report for April found they used the internet for an average of just over four hours a day.

    That figure is up from the 3.5 hours recorded in September last year — with video call sites seeing unprecedented growth.

  • LONG HAUL

    ENGLAND'S Chief Medical officer Chris Whitty has warned Brits “not to behave like they would before” as lockdown measures are eased to restart the economy.

    Prof Whitty predicted the country will have to cope with Covid-19 for the “long haul until this time next year”.

    He told yesterday’s No10 press briefing: “I would be surprised and delighted if we weren't in this current situation through the winter and into next spring.

    “I think then let's regroup and work out where we are.

    “I expect there to be a significant amount of coronavirus circulating at least into that time and I think it is going to be quite optimistic that for science to come fully to the rescue over that kind of timeframe.”

  • GLOBAL SPREAD

    More than 477,500 people have been killed by coronavirus according to the latest stats.

    There are more than 9,263,400 cases across the world, the John Hopkins University figures revealed.

    The US, Brazil and the UK have the worst death rates, followed by Italy, France and Spain.

  • SECOND PHASE

    Health leaders are calling for an urgent review to ensure Britain is properly prepared for the “real risk” of a second wave of coronavirus.

    Ministers have been warned that urgent action is needed to prevent further loss of life and to protect the economy amid growing fears of a renewed outbreak over the winter.

    The appeal is backed by the presidents of the Royal Colleges of Physicians, Surgeons, GPs and Nursing – as well as the chairman of the British Medical Association.

    It comes after Boris Johnson announced on Tuesday the biggest easing to date of the coronavirus lockdown in England.

    In an open letter to the leaders of all the UK political parties published in the British Medical Journal, the health leaders call for a “rapid and forward-looking assessment” of the state of national preparedness in the event of a renewed flare-up.

    They said: “The job now is not only to deal urgently with the wide-ranging impacts of the first phase of the pandemic, but to ensure that the country is adequately prepared to contain a second phase.”

  • 6AM CORONAVIRUS SUMMARY

    FAUCI WARNS OF VIRUS UPTICK IN THE US Disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci highlighted the disturbing surge in COVID-19 in some states.

    – LIFT LOCKDOWN IN SOUTHAMPTON, SCIENTISTS SAY Scientists say a city the size of Southampton should lift its lockdown for a testing experiment.

    – 200 CORONA CASES AT MEAT PLANT There were 200 COVID-19 cases linked to an outbreak at a Welsh meat factory.

    THE APPRENTICE 2020 HAS OFFICIALLY BEEN AXED The BBC won't air the series this year due to the coronavirus crisis.

    DUTCH MPS VOTE TO CLOSE MINK FARMS Dutch lawmakers want to shut down mink farms by the end of 2020 after amid fears the animals spread coronavirus.

  • COVID CRISIS LEADS TO 'BABY BUST'

    Health experts say there could be 500,000 fewer births next year as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

    The Demographic Intelligence's COVID Family Survey predicted that there would be a half-million less babies born amid virus fears.

    Three percent of the American women surveyed were considering having a little one, now wanted to delay their pregnancy plans for a few years.

    Four percent said they’d like to have larger families than they thought they would before the deadly bug struck.

    A Brookings Institute report also stated that the “COVID-19 episode will likely lead to a large, lasting baby bust.”

    Study authors Melissa S. Kearney and Phillip Levine estimate there will be around 300,000 to 500,000 fewer births next year, reported Deseret News.

  • BEIJING'S VIRUS CASES PLUMMET

    There were seven new cases of COVID-19 in Beijing on Tuesday, according to the National Health Commission in China.

    This is the lowest amount of new daily cases in the capital since a food market was shuttered on June 13 when an outbreak emerged there.

    The NHC reported 12 new coronavirus cases across mainland China.

    These infections included three imported and nine locally transmitted cases.

  • EU COULD BAN AMERICAN TRAVELERS

    European Union lawmakers may ban American travelers from traveling to Europe on July 1.

    The New York Times reported that officials in Brussels cited the US failure to control the spread of COVID-19.

    The Times noted that if Americans are excluded, it would put the country in the same category as Russia and Brazil.

    A decision on reopening the borders is expected early next week.

  • FAUCI WARNS OF VIRUS UPTICK IN THE US

    Disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci highlighted the disturbing surge in COVID-19 in the US.

    Fauci told the house Energy and Commerce Committee that an uptick in states like Arizona, Arkansas, California, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas were “very troublesome to me.”

    “The next couple of weeks are going to be critical in our ability to address those surges we are seeing in Florida, Texas, Arizona, and other states,” he said during his address, accompanied by the other members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

    His comments come after some states reopened prematurely without robust testing and tracing plans in place.

    Despite Fauci's reservations, Trump appeared to dismiss concerns of a second wave, citing some state's ramped up testing measures.

    “They'll say, 'We have more cases.'  Now, look, we want to do testing.  We want to do everything, but they use it to make us look bad,” he told his supporters at a megachurch in Phoenix.

    “So we do all these tests, and we find pockets, and we find people, and we find cases.  And they say, 'The cases have jumped,' instead of saying what a job we’re doing with testing.”

  • TRUMP CALLS CORONAVIRUS 'KUNG FU FLU'

    Donald Trump said he had a number of names for the “plague” COVID-19 on Tuesday.

    Speaking at the “Students for Trump” rally in Phoenix, Arizona, the President said “there's never been anything where they have so many names.”

    “I could give you 19 or 20 names for that, right?  It's got all different names. 'Wuhan.' 'Wuhan' was catching on,” Trump said in a thinly-veiled dig at China. “'Coronavirus,' right? 

    “'Kung flu,' Yeah. Kung Flu,” he said before listing out the deadly bug's official title, COVID-19.

    “Some people call it the 'Chinese flu,' the 'China flu.' Right?  They call it the 'China, as opposed to 'Chi-' – the 'China,'” Trump concluded. “I've never seen anything like it.”

    Trump previously came under fire in recent months from officials in China for repeatedly referring to the vicious disease as the “Chinese Virus.”

  • TEXAS GOV SAYS 'STAY HOME' AMID VIRUS FEARS

    Texas Gov Greg Abbott pleaded with residents to stay at home as COVID-19 cases surge again in more than half of all US states.

    On Tuesday, Abbott revealed that there were more than 5,000 infections in-state with hospitalizations there jumping from an average of 1,600 a day to 3,200.

    “Because the spread is so rampant right now, there is never a reason for you to have to leave your home unless you do need to go out,” Abbott told KBTX.

    “The safest place for you is at your home.”

    Reports indicate that Arizona, Arkansas, California, South Carolina, North Carolina and Tennessee are also experiencing more coronavirus-related hospitalizations.

  • LIFT LOCKDOWN IN SOUTHAMPTON, SCIENTISTS SAY

    Top scientists are calling for a city the size of Southampton to lift lockdown completely to see if it can control infection through weekly testing of every resident.

    The experiment, which would use saliva tests on the 250,000 residents, could offer a safe way out of lockdown if it is successful.

    A full household quarantine would be imposed on those that test positive.

  • FIVE SCHOOLS IN 'HOTSPOT' CITY CLOSE AFTER OUTBREAKS

    Five schools in a coronavirus “hotspot” UK city have been forced to close after staff members tested positive for thevirus.

    Deep cleans are underway at the schools in Leicester, the city where it was last week revealed by Health Secretary Matt Hancock a localised outbreak of Covid-19 had taken hold.

    However, the city council’s strategic director of education and social care Martin Samuels moved to reassure parents and the wider public when he spoke with Leicestershire Live today.

  • CANCER CHARITIES FEAR 18,000 EXTRA DEATHS A YEAR

    Almost half a million people are waiting at least six weeks for tests to diagnose cancer.

    Cancer charities fear there will be an extra 18,000 deaths a year because those with symptoms are not receiving prompt diagnosis and treatment.

    In February, before the pandemic hit, 29,832 people – less than three percent of those on the list – were facing such waits.

  • 200 CORONA CASES AT MEAT PLANT

    There are now 200 confirmed Covid-19 cases linked to the coronavirus outbreak at a Welsh meat factory.

    Public Health Wales has confirmed 25 more cases at the 2 Sisters chicken processing plant, which employs about 500 people in Llangefni on Anglesey.

    Now three Welsh meat plants have Covid-19 among its workers.

    Wales' health minister said government will see if the sector should improve.

  • AIRPORTS HIT BY JOB LOSSES

    Airports have warned the Government that more than 110,000 jobs face the axe because of the collapse in flying due to the Coronavirus pandemic.  

    The Airport Operators’ Association (AOA) has surveyed its members including Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester to calculate that 110,000 workers at its airports and allied businesses are at risk because of the downturn in flights.

  • WORLD CHAMPION TENNIS PLAYER IS 'SO SORRY' AFTER TESTING POSITIVE

    World number one Novak Djokovic said he is “so sorry” after becoming the latest tennis player to test positive for Covid-19.

    Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki all revealed they had coronavirus after playing at Djokovic's Adria Tour competition.

    Djokovic, 33, played fellow Serb Troicki in the first event in Belgrade.

    In a post on Twitter, Djokovic said it had been “too soon” to stage the tournament.

    He added: “I am so deeply sorry our tournament has caused harm.”

  • PET CORONAVIRUS VACCINES PASS LAB TESTS

    Two potential vaccines designed to tackle Covid-19 in animals have proved successful in laboratory tests, scientists say.

    Researchers at the Vaccine Group, which works with the University of Plymouth, said the development marks a significant step forward in eliminating Sars-CoV-2 in existing animal sources.

  • THE APPRENTICE 2020 HAS OFFICIALLY BEEN AXED

    THE BBC will not air a series of The Apprentice this year due to the coronavirus crisis.

    It will be the first time fans miss out on the annual show since it started in 2005.

    After crunch talks at the end of last week, producers have decided it would be too difficult to shoot overseas challenges and maintain even relaxed social distancing.

  • CHURCH IN SOUTH KOREA SUED FOR SPREADING VIRUS

    The city at the epicentre of South Korea’s coronavirus outbreak has filed a £66.5 million damages suit against the religious group that has been linked to nearly 62 percent of the 6,900 cases in the city. 

    Officials of the Daegu city government are demanding compensation for losses suffered.

    The leaders of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus reportedly refused to cooperate with initial efforts to halt the spread of the virus in early March. 

  • DUTCH MPS VOTE TO CLOSE MINK FARMS

    Dutch lawmakers voted on Tuesday in favour of shutting down mink farms by the end of the year after amid fears the animals spread coronavirus.

    Members of the lower house of parliament approved calling on government to close down the farms and asked it to ban the breeding of animals “that are susceptible” to the coronavirus.

    The motion, tabled by the Party for Animals and the Labour Party, was then accepted.

  • HALF OF PEOPLE SUPPORT RELAXING LOCKDOWN

    The results of a snap YouGov poll show that the public broadly backs the easing of lockdown.

    Nearly half of people said the changes were about right, while 37 per cent said relaxing had gone too far – and seven per cent said they did not go far enough. 

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