Coronavirus in UK live blog: latest as UK government exceeds 100k a day testing target

Follow the latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak in our live blog below

Friday, 1st May 2020, 7:53 am
Updated Friday, 1st May 2020, 5:55 pm

We will be providing live updates until 6pm this evening.

Residents in a Brighton seafront apartment block join in the Clap for Our Carers in support of the NHS on April 30 in Brighton (Photo: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Coronavirus live blog, May 1

Last updated: Friday, 01 May, 2020, 07:54

Teachers demand PPE

The majority of teachers believe school staff should be given personal protective equipment (PPE) when more pupils return as they say social distancing in schools is "impossible", a poll suggests.

About three in four (76%) say the equipment should be made available to all staff when schools open to more pupils in the future, according to an online survey carried out by education magazine Tes.

The poll of more than 17,000 school staff across the UK also suggests a similar proportion (74%) think it would be "impossible" to manage social distancing when more pupils return to school.

Downing Street don't contradict Trump Chinese laboratory claim

Downing Street declined to contradict Donald Trump's claims that coronavirus originated in a Chinese laboratory.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "There are clearly questions that need to be answered about the origin and spread of the virus, not least so we can ensure that we're best prepared for a future global pandemic, this work will need to be done with our international partners."

Testing capacity in Scotland up to 6,500 by next week

The testing capacity in Scotland currently stands at 4,350, according to Ms Sturgeon.

The Scottish Government set a target of 3,500 for capacity in NHS labs by the end of April.

By the end of the next week, the First Minister said, testing would rise to 6,500 and further to 8,000 by the middle of May.

No changes to lockdown before Thursday

The Prime Minister is not expected to announce any changes to the lockdown measures before Thursday, the deadline to renew restrictions, PA understands.according to Press Association. 

A Sage meeting is being held next Thursday to determine whether the country is ready to step out of lockdown.

PM: 'We are past the peak'

Greggs has pulled back on plans to reopen its first sites to the public next week over fears it could attract crowds.

A company spokeswoman said: "Due to significant interest in our 20-shop trial, and the risk that excessive numbers of customers may plan to visit Greggs, we will now initially operate these trials behind closed doors in order to effectively test our new operational safety measures.

"We will continue to review this and will invite walk-in customers into our shops only when we can be confident of doing so in the controlled manner we intended."

Chemotherapy treatments running at 70%

Dame Cally Palmer, national cancer director for NHS England, said chemotherapy treatments were running at 70% of normal levels but two-week referrals were down by 62%.

She told MPs at the Health and Social Care Committee: "Broadly, chemotherapy appointments are running at about 70% of normal levels and the reason for that, and we think we can set them back very quickly because, of course, is they use different facilities and workforce broadly from surgery and the other resources required to respond to Covid-19."

She added: "We had just under 15,000 people booked for an appointment but that is a 62% reduction and clearly it's very important we address that because early detection is vital for increased survival."

Social distancing at airports on public transport 'impossible'

Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye has described social distancing at airports as "impossible".

He told the PA news agency: "Social distancing does not work in any form of public transport, let alone aviation.

"The constraint is not about how many people you can fit on a plane, it will be how many people you can get through an airport safely.

"If you've ever been on holiday from Gatwick, you cannot imagine going through there and socially distancing in the summer.

“It's just physically impossible to socially distance with any volume of passengers in an airport. The same applies with trains and Tube stations.”

Housing Secretary: face masks 'don't make a huge difference'

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has admitted that the benefits of wearing medical face masks is “modest.”

His comments - made to the BBC - come as the Government appeared to suggest the implementation of face masks would give members of the public the “confidence” to return to work.

“The advice in the past has been that face masks have only quite a modest difference from a health perspective,” said Jenrick.

"It's a personal choice, if you have a face mask it's your choice whether you want to use them and if you walk around some of our towns and cities today you are seeing more people using them than ever before.

"The advice today is that the difference made by a face covering is quite modest - it doesn't make a huge difference but it does make some. So it's your choice."

Ryanair expects passenger demand to return to normal in 'at least two years'

Budget airline Ryanair expects to operate under 1% of its schedule between April and June due to coronavirus.

It said in a statement: "As a direct result of the unprecedented Covid-19 crisis, the grounding of all flights from mid-March until at least July, and the distorted state aid landscape in Europe, Ryanair now expects the recovery of passenger demand and pricing (to 2019 levels) will take at least two years, until summer 2022 at the earliest.

"The Ryanair Airlines will shortly notify their trade unions about its restructuring and job loss programme, which will commence from July 2020.

“These plans will be subject to consultation but will affect all Ryanair Airlines and may result in the loss of up to 3,000 mainly pilot and cabin crew jobs, unpaid leave and pay cuts of up to 20%, and the closure of a number of aircraft bases across Europe until traffic recovers.”

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