Coronavirus in UK live blog: testing rolled out to over 65s, workers required to leave home and asymptomatic care home residents

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

Tuesday, 28th April 2020, 6:01 pm

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

Robin Barclay, cleaning contractor, poses on a street in Glasgow (Photo: ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Coronavirus live blog, April 28

Last updated: Tuesday, 28 April, 2020, 15:16

The trio are taking questions now. 

A member of the public asks how the government can help with childcare while schools are shut and grandparents are socially distancing. 

Hancock says that it is too soon to reopen schools and we don't yet know how fast the number of new cases will fall. 

A second question from a member of the public asks if children who are living with immunocompromising diseases can return to school. 

Hancock has said that schools have been encouraged to ensure that those with extra needs are offered the help they need. He says those with certain medical conditions should continue to be shielded “because of the consequences should they get the disease”. 

Matt Hancock says the risk of a second peak is real and pleads for the public to continue staying at home. 

Professor Angela McLean is speaking now. 

She breaks down the five tests which need to be passed before lockdown can be passed. These are: ensuring the NHS can cope, a sustained a consistent fall in death rate, rate of inffection decreasing to a manageable level, increasing testing capcity and PPE supply, and eliminating the chance of a second peak.

Though deaths rose today, McLean says that the overal trend is declining. 

Testing rolled out to asymptomatic NHS staff and care home residents.

On testing, he says that everyday the UK is ramping up it's capacity on it's way to the 100,000 a day goal. 

He says the number of home testing kits is increasing to 25,000 a day, up from 5,000 last Friday. 

The capacity currently stands at 73,000. 

Testing will be rolling out to asymptomatic residents at care homes and patients and staffs in the NHS. 

All over 65s can now access a test if they're experiencing symptoms, as can workers who leave their home to do their job. 

Matt Hancock is speaking now. 

He is joined by Professor Angela McLean and Professor John Newton. 

He starts by reflecting on this morning's minute's silence, describing frontline workers as “the nation's heros".

He reveals that 43,000 tests were carried out yesterday. 

21,678 have died in hspital, an increase of 586. 

He says that it's important to be as transparent as possible. 

From tomorrow the number of deaths in hospital, care homes and beyond from tomorrow. He says this previously wasn't possible. 

Matt Hancock to take daily press briefing

Matt Hancock will again host today's daily press briefing at 5pm. 

He will be joined by deputy chief scientific adviser Professor Dame Angela McLean.

Schools not reopening in Wales any time soon

Schools in Wales will not be reopening to all students any time soon although there could be a phased return for a limited number of students, the education minister said.

Answering questions from the Senedd's children, young people and education committee, Ms Williams said: "I am clear that a return to normal is not imminent and therefore I am not in a position to give a date as to when you will see more schools opening up to more children.

"What I have done is publish the principles that will aid me in making a decision.

"I cannot make a decision regarding education in isolation. It will have to be taken in context of the wider Welsh Government response to dealing with this pandemic.

"It is not feasible that we will move from where we are now to what all of us would regard as normal education and what the operation of schools looked like before this pandemic."

Government asked to publish scriteria and selection process for membership of SAGE

Liberal Democrat MP Daisy Cooper (St Albans) asked for the Government to publish the "criteria and selection process" for membership of its Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage).

She said: "It's been reported that the Sage does not include one molecular virologist, not one intensive care expert, not one nursing lead or immunologist and only one member from an ethnic minority."

Responding, Mr Gove said: "The Sage is composed of some of the finest minds in our scientific community and the criteria for membership is a commitment to doing everything possible to save others' lives.

"It seems to me it doesn't matter what colour someone's skin is if they are committed to saving the lives of others."

Government asked to publish scriteria and selection process for membership of SAGE

Liberal Democrat MP Daisy Cooper (St Albans) asked for the Government to publish the "criteria and selection process" for membership of its Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage).

She said: "It's been reported that the Sage does not include one molecular virologist, not one intensive care expert, not one nursing lead or immunologist and only one member from an ethnic minority."

Responding, Mr Gove said: "The Sage is composed of some of the finest minds in our scientific community and the criteria for membership is a commitment to doing everything possible to save others' lives.

"It seems to me it doesn't matter what colour someone's skin is if they are committed to saving the lives of others."

First Minister recommends wearing face coverings in closed spaces

Frontline heroes risk losing their jobs

Frontline "heroes" risk losing their jobs if the Government fails to meet its promise to fully fund councils in their coronavirus crisis response, Labour has warned.

Shadow communities secretary Steve Reed told the Commons: "Councils are not allowed to go into debt so if the Government does not keep its promise to fund the full cost of this crisis, councils will be forced to make cuts potentially totalling billions of pounds and that'll mean job losses.

"Councils say the additional funding that's been announced so far barely covers a quarter of what's needed - it's not enough.

"So will the Secretary of State reconfirm the Government's original promise to fund whatever is necessary in full, because if he doesn't the frontline heroes we're cheering today will lose their jobs tomorrow."

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said he has been working closely with councils, adding: "The message I've consistently delivered is we will fund the work they're doing, the brilliant work they're doing to support the country through this crisis."

He said £3.2 billion of additional money has already been committed, plus other support, adding: "We will keep under review whether further funding is required, and if it is we will bring it forward because we want to back this brilliant sector in all that they're doing."

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