COVID-19 Increased Testing
The government will be ramping up testing for the coronavirus Boris Johnson has said, with particular focus on testing NHS workers. At Prime Minister’s Questions, Johnson initially said the UK would administer 10,000 tests a day and “was moving up to 25,000 a day”. Following the chancellor’s announcement of plans to combat the economic impact of the virus, which included a mortgage break for homeowners, the prime minister also said he would be bringing forward legislation to protect renters from eviction.
Coronavirus What we know to date:
- 104 people in the UK have now died after contracting the virus.
- Schools across the UK will be closed from Friday until further notice, though some will stay open to provide care for children of key workers, such as NHS staff. GCSEs and A-level exams have also been cancelled.
- Transport for London will run a reduced service in the capital — closing up to 40 London Underground stations and halting the Night Tube until further notice.
- On Tuesday, the chancellor promised £330bn in government-backed loans for businesses struggling due to the coronavirus. He also suspended all business rates, offered grants to small business and promised special help for airlines.
- The NHS will cancel all non-urgent surgery in England in order to free up beds for coronavirus patients.
- The government has advised people against all but essential foreign travel due to the risk of countries introducing travel restrictions.
- The prime minister has told people to avoid “non-essential contact” with others, and said it was especially important for pregnant women, people over 70 or with underlying health conditions.
- Anyone in a household where a person has symptoms of the virus should stay at home for 14 days to avoid community spread.
- The prime minister said the government will no longer “support mass gatherings” with emergency staff.
- People should avoid pubs, clubs, restaurants and theatres, avoid unnecessary travel and work from home if possible.
- The chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance has said it “may be necessary” to close schools at a later stage in the outbreak.
- On Monday the government said people with serious health conditions should be “largely shielded from social contact” for around 12 weeks.