LiveCoronavirus 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

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."

Opposition leader calls for better pay and working conditions for key workers

Former Labour leader pays tribute to key workers

Contact tracing app to be ready in two to three weeks

NHSX chief Matthew Gould said the contact-tracing app would be trialled in a "small area" before potentially being rolled out nationally next month, subject to its performance in those trials.

He said: "I would expect it technically to be ready for wider deployment in two to three weeks. Whether it is then deployed depends on the wider strategy."

UK observes minute's silence

Minute's silence taking place at 11am

'Value' in 'exploring' lockdown return of sport - Hancock

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said there is “value” in “trying to find a way to have socially distanced sport as much as is possible behind closed doors and following good public health rules.”

"I think that these are important things to explore and then to tackle the practical questions that they raise.

"I know that the public health experts who work for me are engaged with football and [horse] racing."

He added: "I do think it's doable but a lot of work needs to be done to find a way to make it happen."

No such thing as 'lockdown fatigue', according to Health Secretary

Matt Hancock has said he does not think there is "lockdown fatigue" or an appetite for an exit route among the public.

"If you look at surveys of the public, if you talk to members of the public, if you look at how much the public are following the measures, the public are following the lockdown brilliantly," he said.

“The proportion of the public who support the lockdown remains absolutely solid. The number of people who are following the rules remains incredibly high. The number of people who are taking journeys, for instance, has barely changed on three weeks ago.”

However, the Health Secretary said there are also "clear consequences of the lockdown".

"There are social consequences, there's economic consequences, and for some people, especially the shielded, there are health consequences, and we've got to take those into account too."

Matt Hancock: Cheltenham Festival 'right' to go ahead

Health Secretary Matt Hancock - who has been taking questions from members of the public on LBC this morning - has said it was right to allow the Cheltenham Festival to go ahead.

“We followed the scientific advice, we were guided by that science. I think broadly we took the right measures at the right time,” he said.

"We were ahead of many other countries in Europe in terms of when we took the measures."

Asked whether there had been any possibility of postponing the festival, Mr Hancock said: "No, the science at the time was quite clear and the scientific advice we were getting was quite clear."

Sir Keir Starmer: those on the frontline 'undervalued and underpaid'

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has said "too many" frontline workers have died during the fight against coronavirus in a video message.

“As we reflect today at 11 o'clock, a minute's silence on behalf of everybody who's lost their lives,” he said, "we think particularly of all the grieving families that have lost a loved one.

“Nobody should put their lives at risk because they haven't got the right protective equipment. We owe it to them to make sure that we've got the right equipment, in the right place at the right time.”

"We can't go out and clap on a Thursday and pretend that, when this is over, we can return to business as usual. Many of those on the front line have been undervalued and underpaid for far, far too long."

Domestic Abuse Bill due for second reading in the Commons today

Minister for safeguarding Victoria Atkins has been speaking to BBC Breakfast about the Domestic Abuse Bill, which is due for its second reading in the Commons on today.

“It introduces new powers, protective orders, and changes various measures in courts to help protect victims,” she said.

"We have been listening to charities delivering these services on the front line.

"A couple of weeks ago, in response to the huge increase we've seen in calls to helplines and web services, we have announced a further £2 million to bolster those services.

"In addition today, we are very conscious of the impact this may be having on children living in abusive households, so we have announced a £3 million fund today to help those charities... to ensure that the children receive the immediate care they need."

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