Today the government published a 50-page document, “Our Plan to Rebuild”, which set out a three-phased plan for easing the nationwide lockdown.
The first phase of the strategy will be begin this week and allow citizens of England to leave their homes as many times as they’d like for exercise and leisure. Scotland, Wales and Northern Island have not altered their lockdown restrictions. The report advises that people use face coverings in places where social distancing cannot be observed, such as on public transport.
The report goes on to state that the only long-term solution to Coronavirus is a vaccine or a drug-based treatment, which may be more than a year away.
Phase two of the government’s plan, which will not take place before June 1, will involve the reopening of primary schools and non-essential shops. There is a possibility that households may be allowed to mix with one another at this stage.
Phase three, which will take place no sooner than June 4, will involve the opening of restaurants, pubs, hotels, and hairdressers. Business which cannot meet social distancing guidelines will not be re-opened, according to the report.
Research by the ONS has shown that men in blue-collar jobs were more than twice as likely than the rest of the working age population to contract Coronavirus. These findings come after government’s decisions to allow workers from the construction industry and other similar trades to return to work.
The total Coronavirus death toll has now passed that of Italy’s, standing at 29,427, an increase of 693 as of today.
In the daily briefing Dominic Raab, the Secretary of State, rejected attempts to draw comparisons between the UK and Italy.
Doctors in Birmingham have launched an urgent report into BAME deaths as a result of Coronavirus. This report comes after several media reports have drawn attention to the disproportionate number of Black Asian and Minority people that have died as a result of Coronavirus.
The number of key workers and members of their family who have tested positive for Coronavirus has overtaken the number of sick people in hospitals.
The total death toll as a result of Coronavirus now stands at 27,510, an increase of 739.
Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, announced that the government had met their target, set in the beginning of April, of reaching 100,000 tests per day by the end of April. According to the Health Secretary 122,347 were administered on 30th April.
The daily recorded death toll increased to 18,100, an increase of 763.
The government continues to receive criticism for the inadequate supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Today the European Commission stated that the government had been given an opportunity to bulk buy PPE with EU countries but refused to do. The call for joint European wide procurement of PPE was, according to the Commission, announced on 31 January.
Prime Minister’s Questions resumed today with Dominic Raab, standing in for Boris Johnson, facing up against the newly elected head of the Labour Party, Sir Keir Starmer.
Alongside the first Secretary Dominc Raab, General Sir Nick Carter, Chief of the Defence Staff, gave the daily briefing. Both Raab and Carter drew attention to the role that the armed forces have played in supporting the NHS during the pandemic.
778 Coronavirus related deaths were record by the NHS today. This brings the total of recorded deaths to 12,107. One in four recorded deaths are now linked to Coronavirus.
The Office for Budgetary Responsibility reported that the UK economy faces a 35 per cent plunge in output in the second quarter of 2020 if a lockdown to fight the spread of coronavirus remains in place for three months. The Chancellor Rishi Sunak started his evening briefing by acknowledging the findings of the report but insisted that the government had made the right decision to impose a lockdown.
The Labour Party has been beset by a scandal after their submission to the ECHR enquiry on anti-Semitism within the party revealed that factionalism prevented Labour from dealing with the problem.
The Prime Minister was hospitalised over the weekend due to Coronavirus. Politicians across the political spectrum wished the Prime Minister a speedy recovery. His office has given no indication of when he should expect to be discharged. Despite his illness Boris Johnson continues to run the government from hospital.
The death toll increased by 441 today, the lowest daily increasing for almost a week, bringing the death toll to 5,373.
In the daily press briefing the Secretary of State Dominic Raab stood in place of the Prime Minister. In his briefing he stood by the government’s commitment to increase testing and pointed out that over 208,000 tests had currently taken place. The government’s target is 100,000 tests per day by the end of April.
The new leader of the Labour Party Sir Keir Starmer unveiled his shadow cabinet. The selections, which saw the ex-Leader of the Opposition Ed Miliband return to the shadow cabinet as Shadow Business Secretary, has been viewed as a move towards the centre-left.
Ok, so as fun and rewarding as your job may be you can’t, and you shouldn’t, spend all of your time busy with work. Trying to avoid work can be especially hard when you’re spending so much time at home. But, have no fear, W4MP comes to you with a solution! Below are a list of fun activities to keep you busy, keep you thinking, and keep you sane.
Online Activities to keep you busy offline during the lockdown
Here are some activities that we think will help you stay busy during the lockdown.
- Fitness: If you’re missing the gym, or want to get into exercise for the first time, then P.E with JOE is probably the best place to start. Joe offers a really wide array of online classes that are suited to people of all abilities.
- Yoga: If you’re looking for something a bit more structured, then maybe online yoga is for you. Yoga with Adriene varies from soft and gentle to thoroughly exhausting.
- Ballet: The Dutch National Opera and Ballet, as part of their stay at home series, are streaming online Ballet Classes on their YouTube page. Classes come out once a week and are about thirty minutes long.
- There are two kinds of people during a lockdown. People making sourdough and people struggling to find flour. If you’re in the first camp then Breadahead’s online baking course is for you. Live at 2pm (GMT) everyday on Instagram live, Breadahead teaches you how to make a wide variety of loaves from Focaccia to Ciabatta.
Today saw the opening of the new 4,000 bed hospital in the ExCel centre in London, the first of the government’s emergency field hospitals built to treat Coronavirus in the City. The hospital was opened in nine days and has so far been fitted with 500 beds.
The death toll increased again today up to 684 in the past 24 hours. The Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who continues to give the daily briefing in place of the Prime Minister, stood by the government’s commitment to increase testing to 100,000 by the end of this month. The government was again challenged on the lack of widespread and affective antibody tests, after promising 2.4 million working tests within days on 25th March. In his briefing the Health Secretary stated that the government is still looking for an effective antibody test.
It was Jeremy Corbyn last day as leader of the Labour Party today, in his email to Party members he described his time as leader as having been an “honour”.
The death toll in the UK increased once again to 569, setting another record. There have now been 2,921 deaths as a result of Covid-19.
Concerns remain around the government’s lack of testing for NHS staff. However, the government has stood by their commitment to increase testing throughout the population, promising to have 100,000 tests a day by the end of April.
The Health Secretary Matt Hancock took to the podium to give the daily Coronavirus update after self-isolating since the 27th March.
Further support was also promised to the NHS in the form of a £13.4 billion write-off of NHS debt. In addition to this debt relief additional support was also given to the health sector in the form of a £300 million made available to community pharmacies to support their business.
In party political news, the Labour leadership elections came to an end today. Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour MP for Holborn and St Pancreas, is largely expected to win.
As of today we will be posting a short daily summary of the latest Covid-19 news, focusing on the most important stories of the day. Our aim is try and highlight the issues which we think will be most relevant to people working in Parliament.
Today saw the largest increase in UK Covid-19 deaths in a single day since the pandemic began. Of the 563 people that have died, the youngest was only thirteen years old.
Politically, the main story today has been the government’s pledge to test NHS staff. So far 2,000 NHS staff have been tested out of a total 500,000, a disparity which has led to the government receiving criticism. The government maintains that their strategy is to increase the amount of testing taking place amongst NHS workers and the population as a whole.
The government has also promised an additional £12 billion to local authorities in England to support business. Local authorities have been urged by the government to distribute these funds as quickly as possible.