Coronavirus UK Live: Death toll hits 33,186 after 494 more die – The Sun

THE UK's death toll has hit 33,186 after 494 more people died across Britain.

The figures are down from yesterday, as the PM's new lockdown rules came into play with Brits returning to work and flocking to garden centres and golf courses.

However, strict social distancing measures remain in place.

Brits are now allowed unlimited exercise outside and those who can't work from home have been encouraged to head back into workplaces today.

From today, people can now also go out and meet up with one other person from outside their household.

The easing comes as experts warn the UK's economy is suffering under lockdown.

Our economy shrank by 2 per cent in the first quarter of this year amid the coronavirus crisis – the worst quarter fall since the height of the financial crash at the end of 2008, shocking new statistics show.

Speaking to Sky News this morning, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “The first quarter was that bad based on just a few days of the impact of coronavirus in March, so yes it is very likely that the UK is facing a significant recession at the moment and this year.”

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has warned of a second lockdown as public transport this morning was packed as the new work and exercise measures were introduced.

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

  • PM POINTS OUT SPIKE IN OTHER COUNTRIES

    The Prime Minister has pointed to an infection rate rise in countries where the lockdown has been eased, describing it as a “warning”.

    He said the rise is a “warning to us not to proceed too quickly [with exiting lockdown].”

  • BRITS FLOCK TO GARDEN CENTRES AND GOLF COURSES AS LOCKDOWN EASED

    Britons headed out to garden centres and golf courses today as new lockdown measures allowed them to reopen.

    Cooped up people have also poured onto the roads and crammed into buses and trains as they get back to work – sparking a stern warning from the PM that transport cannot be overcrowded.

  • THREE-DAY-OLD BABY DIES AFTER MUM CONTRACTED COVID-19

    A three-day-old baby boy died after his mum contracted coronavirus.

    Coolio Carl Justin Morgan was born on 2 May at the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend but tragically died just days later.

    An inquest heard the baby's mother tested positive for coronavirus just before she gave birth.

    The baby's primary cause of death was given as severe Hypoxic Ischaemic Encephalopathy, meaning the brain being starved of blood and oxygen.

    But “maternal Covid-19” was listed as a secondary cause of death of the baby.

  • UK DEATH TOLL HITS 33,186

    The UK's death toll has jumped to 33,186 after 494 more people died across the four nations.

    It comes as experts suggested the “true” death toll figure could be closer to 40,000 – which included counting unconfirmed cases.

  • EVERY AFRICAN COUNTRY NOW AFFECTED BY VIRUS

    All 54 countries in Africa have now been touchedby coronavirus as it continues to spread across the globe.

    Lesotho, the last country on the continent to record a case, confirmed its first today.

    The patient is a Lesotho national studying in Saudia Arabia, who had recently returned.

    “The Ministry of Health informs the Basotho nation and the entire community living in Lesotho, that the country now has the first confirmed case of Covid-19,” Director General Dr. Nyane Letsie said.

  • COMMON ANTIDEPRESSANT COULD PROTECT AGAINST VIRUS

    A common antidepressant could help to ease the symptoms of coronavirus, scientists say.

    Researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in the US are examining the effectiveness of fluvoxamine against Covid-19.

    Fluvoxamine belongs to a group of medicines called SSRI antidepressants and it is normally prescribed for either the treatment of depression or for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

    However, the researchers believe the drug may help to prevent “cytokine storms” – which is where the immune system goes into overdrive and floods the body with immune cell mediators called cytokines in response to Covid-19.

  • EDUCATION UNIONS ASK GOVERNMENT TO ‘STEP BACK’ FROM REOPENING SCHOOLS

    Education unions have called on the Government to “step back” from its plan to begin re-opening schools from June 1.

    In a joint statement, the AEP, GMB, NAHT, NASUWT, NEU, NSEAD, Prospect, Unison and Unite unions said: “We all want schools to reopen, but that should only happen when it is safe to do so. The Government is showing a lack of understanding about the dangers of the spread of coronavirus within schools, and outwards from schools to parents, sibling and relatives, and to the wider community.

    “Uniquely, it appears, school staff will not be protected by social distancing rules. Fifteen children in a class, combined with their very young age, means that classrooms of 4 and 5-year-olds could become sources of Covid-19 transmission and spread.

    “While we know that children generally have mild symptoms, we do not know enough about whether they can transmit the disease to adults. We do not think that the Government should be posing this level of risk to our society.

    “We call on the Government to step back from the 1st June and work with us to create the conditions for a safe return to schools based on the principles and tests we have set out.”

  • PM WANTS ‘PROPER MARSHALLING’ ON TRAINS

    Boris Johnson said he wants to see “proper marshalling” at stations to prevent crowding on trains.

    He told the Commons: “I don't want to see crowding on mass public transport in our capital or anywhere else and we're working very actively with TFL to ensure that what we do is we have more capacity, we discourage people from going to work during the peak and that the operators, in particular TFL, lay on particularly more Tube trains when those are necessary throughout the day.

    “And a huge amount of work is being done and we also want to see proper marshalling at stations to prevent crowding of trains.”

  • 1,973 CORONAVIRUS DEATHS IN SCOTLAND

    A total of 1,973 patients have died in Scotland after testing positive for coronavirus, up by 61 from 1,912 on Tuesday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said.

    Speaking at First Minister's Questions at the Scottish Parliament, she announced 13,929 people in Scotland have now tested positive for the virus, a rise of 166 from 13,763 the day before.

  • TESTING IN WUHAN AFTER NEW INFECTIONS FOUND

    Authorities in the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the pandemic first began late last year, reportedly were pressing ahead today to test all 11 million residents for the virus within 10 days after a handful of new infections were found.

  • BORIS JOHNSON SAYS 275 HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE WORKERS HAVE DIED FROM COVID-19

    British Prime minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday that the deaths of 144 health care workers and 131 social care workers had been reported as involving Covid-19.

    The United Kingdom's total Covid-19 death toll exceeds 40,000, by far the worst yet reported in Europe.

  • GOLF COURSES TO REOPEN IN ENGLAND

    Golf courses in England are reopening as part of some modest socially distanced easing of the coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

    People in England can now exercise more than once a day and with one person from outside their household, provided they stay two meters apart.

    In addition outdoor tennis and basketball courts can be used, and people will also be able to swim in lakes and the sea.

  • SPAIN SEES INCREASE IN DEATHS AND NEW INFECTIONS

    Spain is reporting a slight increase in new daily coronavirus deaths and infections, as officials watch closely the curves to see if the relaxation of confinement rules is leading to a significant rebound.

    Spain's recorded fatality has surpassed the 27,000 mark on Wednesday with 184 new deaths in the past 24 hours, eight more than Tuesday's increase.

  • ANNUAL CELEBRATIONS AT THE CATHOLIC SHRINE AT FATIMA IN PORTUGAL HELD WITHOUT WORSHIPPERS

    The Catholic shrine at Fatima in Portugal has held its annual celebrations without worshippers for the first time in its more than 100 year history.

    Hundreds of thousands of people traditionally hold candles as they attend masses at the small towns huge shrine on the night of May 12 and the morning of May 13.

    The ceremonies mark the day when three illiterate shepherd children first reported seeing visions of the Madonna.

  • FRANCE CONFIRMS BORDER CONTROLS WITH GERMANY TO STAY IN PLACE UNTIL JUNE 15

    France will maintain border controls with Germany until June 15, although there will be some relaxation of measures to help the day-to-day lives of those who have to make regular crossings, said French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner on Wednesday.

  • CORONAVIRUS CRISIS – BE IN THE KNOW

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  • FACE COVERINGS ON PUBLIC TRANSPORT COULD BECOME MANDATORY IN SCOTLAND

    Wearing face coverings on buses and trains in Scotland could become compulsory as part of a review into public transport during the coronavirus crisis.

    Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said no decision has yet been taken on the issue and he will be guided by clinical advice.

    The Scottish Government has advised wearing cloth face coverings in enclosed public spaces as a precautionary measure, but so far their use has not been enforced.

    Mr Matheson was asked about the issue at Holyrood's Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee on Wednesday, saying it is part of a transition plan to prepare for an increase in public transport use when lockdown measures are eased.

    Colin Smyth MSP asked: “Will part of that transition plan include consideration of whether or not face coverings will become mandatory on public transport, and not just advisory?”

    The Transport Secretary said: “Yes, it will cover that type of detail and will have to be operationalised by operators in place.

    “That's the sort of issue which we'll explore and consider and we'll take clinical advice before anything changes around existing guidance around the use of facial coverings on public transport.”

  • FEARS OF ‘FURLOUGH FEVER’ AS SCHEME EXTENDED

    Some economic experts last night claimed that waiting until August to make the scheme more flexible will keep firms and other workshy employees addicted to the government's wage support.

    So far, 7.5million workers have been furloughed by nearly a million companies.

    It was announced the scheme will now be extended until August.

    Last night, Chancellor Rishi Sunak tweeted: “I won't give up on the people who rely on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

    “We stood behind Britain's workers and businesses as we came into this crisis, and we will stand behind them as we come through the other side.”

  • HMRC SAYS HUNDREDS FRAUDULENTLY MAKING FURLOUGH CLAIMS

    Hundreds of workers have reported their employers over claims that they are fraudulently taking furlough money from the Government.

    HMRC confirmed it has received 795 reports of potential fraud related to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

    It said it will now be “assessing” these cases in line with its usual procedures.

  • UNION BOSS WARNS TRAINS WILL STOP AFTER PACKED COMMUTE

    The RMT Transport Union has warned trains could stop if crowded scenes such as those this morning continue.

    Unmasked commuters were seen piling into carriages, potentially endangering staff and fellow travellers.

    Speaking to Sky News, Mick Cash, general secretary of the RMT transport union said strike action may be needed to “keep people safe”

    He added: “”If that's what needs to be to keep people safe, then we will stop trains.”

  • BA PILOTS FACE JOB CUTS

    Pilots working for British Airways short haul flights out of Edinburgh Airport are facing job losses, according to an industry union.

    The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA), the registered trade union for UK pilots, said it was formally notified of proposed redundancies at BA CityFlyer on Tuesday.

    Brian Strutton, BALPA general secretary, said: “CityFlyer had been a successful part of BA so this is yet more shocking and devastating news.

    “While the Chancellor fanfares his Job Retention Scheme the aviation industry continues to haemorrhage jobs.

    “The Government is making this crisis worse for aviation by imposing restrictions on flying and forcing airlines into a death spiral.

    “BALPA will fight for every job in CityFlyer at London City and Edinburgh Airports which rely on this important and efficient airline.”

  • COLLEAGUES OF BELLY MUJINGA SAY ‘WE’RE ALL VULNERABLE’

    Colleagues of Belly Mujinga have spoken of their own safety fears after the Victoria station staff member died with coronavirus after being spat at while on duty.

    Gate worker Victor Bangura, 34, told PA: “We are all vulnerable”.

    He added: “I was very shocked. It is the last person I would expect it to happen to.

    “She was a nice person, looked healthy, she was a mother. Imagine you see someone now like me and the next time they are dead.

    “My whole body went into shock. I was very, very emotional.

    “We are all vulnerable, in the same station, it could happen to any one of us.”

    The 47-year-old mum died with coronavirus after a train passenger claiming to have coronavirus spat at her.

  • COPS HAVE NO POWER TO ENFORCE SOCIAL DISTANCING

    Police in England have no powers to enforce social distancing, the College of Policing has informed officers in its latest guidance.

    Fresh guidelines from the College direct: “Government guidance is not enforceable, for example two-metre distancing, avoiding public transport or the wearing of face coverings in enclosed spaces”.

    Under new lockdown measures, Brits are permitted unlimited exercise and allowed to meat one pal outside – as long as they follow social distancing measures

  • TRAIN STATION CAPACITY UP UNDER NEW LOCKDOWN MEASURES

    The manager of Waterloo station has said train services at the London hub rose to 45% of normal capacity on Monday.

    They’d previously been running at 25% throughout the earlier stages of the coronavirus lockdown.

    Services are expected to rise again to 82% from next Monday, he said.

  • MINISTER-LED TASK FORCE TO HELP REOPEN PUBS AND SHOPS

    The Cabinet Office has announced that five ministerial-led task forces will be established to determine how to reopen pubs, beauty salons, places of worship and leisure centres, as well as re-boot the aviation sector.

    In a statement, the Cabinet Office said it was the “Government's ambition to open as many of these other businesses and public places as possible over the coming months, when the scientific advice provided allows us to”.

    It notes that the indoor environments of many of these settings means they “will likely have a higher risk of transmission” of coronavirus.

    The five task forces will look at the following sectors:

    • – pubs and restaurants, led by the Department for Business, Energy and industrial Strategy (BEIS);
    • – non-essential retail, including salons (BEIS);
    • – recreation and leisure, including tourism, culture and heritage, libraries, entertainment and sport (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport);
    • – places of worship, including faith, community and public buildings (Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government);
    • – international aviation (Department for Transport)

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