CORONAVIRUS deaths in the UK have surpassed 40,000 after 357 more died in the last 24 hours.
The Department of Health confirmed 40,261 have now passed away across all settings in the UK, including care homes, hospitals and the wider community.
This comes as Matt Hancock urged Brits not to take part in Black Lives Matter protests this weekend.
The Health Secretary said only groups of up to six people can meet outdoors while observing social distancing of two metres.
On Wednesday, thousands of people took part in a protest in London's Hyde Park after the death of George Floyd in the US.
Speaking at last night's daily press briefing, Mr Hancock said: "Like so many I am appalled by the death of George Floyd and I understand why people are deeply upset but we are still facing a health crisis and coronavirus remains a real threat.
"The reason that it is vital that people stick to the rules this weekend is to protect themselves and their family from this horrific disease.
"So please, for the safety of your loved ones, do not attend large gatherings including demonstrations of more than six people."
Follow our live blog below for all the latest news and updates.
Schools are being “strongly advised” not to admit more pupils after new data suggested coronavirus could still be spreading in the north west of England.
Headteachers in Tameside, east of Manchester, have been told to delay the wider reopening of schools.
Key workers’ and vulnerable children will still go in but everyone else should be delay “until there is further assurance,” the council’s director of public health, Dr Jeanelle de Gruchy said in a letter to schools.
The north west has the highest rate of Covid-19 infections in England according to Public Health England.
BORIS REUSES TO PAY EU £270 MILLION
BORIS Johnson is refusing to stump up a £270million bill demanded by the EU to pay for its coronavirus recovery.
The PM has sparked a row with Brussels by insisting the sum must be cut down – risking further souring the trade talks.
Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen unveiled a £2.7billion fund in April to help the bloc’s economies weather the pandemic.
The cash will come out of this year’s budget, meaning Britain is liable to pay a share under the terms of the Brexit deal.
But the Treasury is disputing two-thirds of our bill – put at £180-270million – arguing it arises from changes to the rules made after we left in January.
PRESIDENT BLAMES SURGE ON WEDDING PARTY IN IRAN
A wedding party contributed to a new surge in coronavirus infections in Iran, President Hassan Rouhani has said.
But he insisted the country had no option but to keep its economy open despite warnings of a second wave of the epidemic.
Iran, which has been gradually relaxing its lockdown since mid-April, has reported a sharp rise of new daily infections in recent days.
Thursday’s toll of 3,574 new cases was the highest since February, when the outbreak was first reported.
He said on state TV: “At one location, we witnessed a peak in this epidemic, the source of which was a wedding that caused problems for the people, health workers and losses to the economy and the country’s health system.”
He did not say when or where the wedding took place.
WORLD'S YOUNGEST VICTIMS
Six babies tested positive for coronavirus within hours of being born to their infected mothers, a study found.
The infants contracted the killer bug “within the first 12 hours after birth”, ministers have said.
A government-backed study revealed the shocking figures after looking at 427 women – 247 of which were mothers – who were admitted to hospital with Covid-19 between March 1 and April 14.
However, doctors are still not clear if the babies were infected in the womb or if they contracted the virus shortly after being born, the Telegraph reports.
MAYOR OF LONDON WARNS PEOPLE TO STAY SAFE
MUM'S THE WORD
A kind-hearted mum has cooked 4,500 meals from her family kitchen to help vulnerable people during the coronavirus pandemic.
Sophie Mears, 33, has spent up to ten hours each day batch cooking free food parcels to be delivered to those who cannot leave their homes because they are shielding from the virus.
Ms Mears, who usually works in admin at a local school, began working from home when the lockdown started, but also wanted to do her bit to help the community in Bridport, Dorset.
She has prepared 60 hearty meals a day including soups, stews, chilli and cottage pie, with a team of eight volunteers delivering the food and a fundraiser bringing in £4,900 to cover her costs.
WORLD CLOSES IN ON 400,000 CORONA DEATHS
The world is close to recording 400,000 coronavirus deaths as the pandemic continues to hold the globe in its grip.
More than 6.77 million people have been reported infected with the new coronavirus globally and 395,053 have died, a Reuters tally showed this morning.
Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China last December.
A total 395,053 had been reported dead by this morning.
Day trippers visiting the countryside during social distancing have been told to stop treating it as their “playground”.
North Yorkshire police and crime commissioner Julia Mulligan said there were “alarming and unfair” levels of overcrowding and litter as people visit beauty spots for a break from lockdown.
The Yorkshire Dales National Park said it believed a high number of first-time visitors had played a role.
The organisation's chairman Carl Lis said: “We want everyone to enjoy the National Park and to have a safe space in which to relax and exercise, but this can only happen if everyone respects the land, respects the community and respects eachother.”
Durdle Door in Dorset has seen thousands of visitors and bags of rubbish left behind over the weekend
CARE HOME RESIDENTS FORCED TO PAY CORONA BILL
Some older people who fund their own care home fees are being forced to pay a steep and unexpected coronavirus bill by their care provider.
Older people and their families are being asked to pay more than £100 a week on top of their usual care home fees.
Homes say the cost of PPE and staff absences could push their finances into the red.
Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK told The Guardian: “Older people living in care homes and their families have been through the mill these last few months.
“It is adding insult to injury that after going through so much, some residents who pay for their own care are now facing a big extra bill – on top of already expensive fees.”
INFECTIOUS DISEASE EXPERT URGES PROTESTORS TO BE “VERY CAREFUL”
People attending anti-racism protests planned across the UK this weekend should be “very careful”,an infectious diseases expert has warned.
Professor John Edmunds, who attends meetings of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) supporting the Government, told Today: “I can understand why people would want to protest but on the other hand I think people need to be careful – very careful.
“If you think about it, overall the infection rate in the community is about 1 in 600, 1 in 700 maybe, so in large groups of individuals you would expect there to be some individuals in a large group who would be infectious.”
RUSSIA'S DEATH TOLL RISES
Russia's death toll has risen by 197 to 8,855 according to figures released today.
TAXI DRIVERS IN FACE OFF
TAXI drivers said today they will refuse to carry passengers who are not wearing masks.
Face coverings on public transport will be compulsory from June 15 in England on buses, trains and tubes to help stop the spread of coronavirus – but taxis were left off.
British Transport Police will have powers allowing them to issue on-the-spot fines to rule breakers. Young children, the disabled and those with breathing difficulties will be exempt.
And the National Private Hire & Taxi Association says it wasn't even informed of the change.
UK IS RECOVERING AT A SLOWER RATE THAN NEIGHBOURS
Although the UK's coronavirus peak haspassed hundreds of people are still dying every day.
Analysis from Public Health England of new cases and infections in countries across Europe suggests the UK is recovering at a slower rate than many of its neighbours, including Italy.
New infections in Italy and Germany reached peaks ahead of the UK – ten days earlier in Germany and 19 days earlier in Italy.
By the time each country reached the same stage as the UK, Italy had cut the number of infections by 83 per cent and Germany by 90 per cent.
The UK has cut infections by only 67 per cent, and all have come from a similar peak – of around 5,500 a day.
KATE AND WILL CHAT ONLINE TO VULNERABLE PEOPLE IN LOCKDOWN
The Duke of Cambridge has revealed he has been secretly working as a volunteer supporting people contacting a crisis helpline developed by his Royal Foundation.
William's work with Shout 85258 – a round-the-clock text messaging helpline – was announced to mark Volunteers Week.
Last month, the duke and duchess marked the service's first anniversary by speaking to some of its volunteers via video call, and William said: “I'm going to share a little secret with you guys, but I'm actually on the platform volunteering.”
Kate has also been helping others and has taken part in “check in and chat” calls with those self-isolating or vulnerable as part of the Royal Voluntary Service's NHS Volunteer Responders scheme.
FACE MASK ADVICE
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has changed its recommendations on the use of face masks.
WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said people should now use the coverings if they are not able to social distancing.
This includes on public transport and in shops.
It comes as the UK government announced wearing face coverings will be compulsory on public transport from June 15.
The Netherlands has ordered a mass cull of minks after fears they are linked to two human cases, Bloomberg reported today.
Arjan Stegeman, a veterinary epidemiologist at Utrecht University, said the mammal could often carry the virus but did not show symptoms.
And the cull was announced after reports a farmer contracted the bug from a mink before spreading it to another two people.
India has today overtaken Italy in the number of coronavirus cases.
Authorities have reported almost 10,000 new infections of the deadly bug in the past 24 hours.
This means India now has the the sixth-highest number of confirmed cases in the world, 236,657. The death toll has surpassed 6,600.
'STILL A CRISIS'
Matt Hancock has begged Brits not to attend Black Lives Matter protests of more than six people this weekend.
The Health Secretary today urged people to stay away from mass demonstrations as they are a breach of coronavirus lockdown rules.
Huge crowds attended a rally in Hyde Park this week to protest against racial inequality and police brutality following the death of George Floyd after he was arrested by police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis.
And more protests are planned in central London this weekend.
But Mr Hancock reminded the public today that Britain is still fighting the covid-19 crisis and it is “vital” we stick to the rules.
He told the No10 briefing: “Like so many I am appalled by the death of George Floyd and I understand why people are deeply upset but we are still facing a health crisis and coronavirus remains a real threat.
“The reason that it is vital that people stick to the rules this weekend is to protect themselves and their family from this horrific disease.
“So please for the safety of your loved ones do not attend large gatherings including demonstrations of more than six people.”
POUT OF ORDER
Brits will be able to get Botox injections before hair salons are expected to reopen on July 4, it has been reported.
Cosmetic doctors have reportedly been advised by their professional body that they can carry out the procedures under the Government's coronavirus rules.
The British College of Aesthetic Medicine (BCAM) told their members cosmetic procedures can start up again as long they are able to follow strict social distancing rules, The Daily Telegraph reported.
It will frustrate Brits who have been waiting 10 weeks for a haircut or have forced to attempt a DIY job at home.
BEER WE GO
Pubs will be fast-tracked to serve in beer gardens and shops could be open all day on Sundays under new government plans.
Ministers want to make it easier for pubs to adapt as the coronavirus lockdown is eased and will give landlords more freedom to serve thirsty punters outside.
Pubs and bars have been shut since March, but Boris Johnson is keen to get them back open by some time this month.
Breweries are reportedly aiming to produce a mammoth 250million pints and deliver them in just two weeks' time.
Kate Garraway has revealed that her husband Derek could be locked in a coma forever after contracting coronavirus.
The Good Morning Britain host said Derek had been in a coma for ten weeks.
And she told The Sun: “There was a terrible phone call two weeks ago from a senior doctor in the intensive care unit. It was late at night on a Friday and I remember exactly where I was sitting and what I was wearing. My first question, the one I always ask when the hospital call, was, ‘Is Derek still alive?’ and he said he was, but then asked me what my greatest fear was.
“I said, ‘Derek dying’ and he replied, ‘Well, now I think I have to give you a second worst case scenario, which is that he never changes from this. That he is locked in this for ever’. He said, ‘I’m not telling you this to scare you. It’s because we don’t know if he can recover. We’ll only know over the coming weeks and months’.”
The death toll for coronavirus worldwide has so far hit more than 394,900 according to John Hopkins data.
The US has so far recorded more than 100,000 deaths while the UK yesterday surpassed 40,000 fatalities.
Overall, there has been 6,740,023 confirmed cases across the globe.
6AM COVID-19 SUMMARY
– CHINA URGES CITIZENS NOT TO TRAVEL TO AUSTRALIA Officials said “racial discrimination and violence against Chinese and Asians in Australia has increased significantly.”
– CHEERS TO THAT As the coronavirus restrictions ease, UK pubs will be fast-tracked to serve in beer gardens.
– MULTIPLE STATES REPORT VIRUS UPTICK At least 18 US states have reported a COVID-19 spike amid nationwide protests.
– BAT' SIGNALS COULD HELP KEEP BRITS APART A new sensor has been developed by a Scottish start-up company which could help social distancing.
– PM COULD DITCH SUNDAY TRADING LAWS Sunday trading laws could be suspended for a year under Government plans to stimulate the economy amid the coronavirus crisis.
CHINA URGES CITIZENS NOT TO TRAVEL TO AUSTRALIA
China told its citizens not to travel to Australia for fear they will be discriminated against because of COVID-19.
The Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism said that “due to the impact of the New Coronary Pneumonia epidemic, racial discrimination and violence against Chinese and Asians in Australia has increased significantly,” on Friday.
“The Ministry of Culture and Tourism reminds Chinese tourists to raise their awareness of safety precautions and not to travel to Australia,” their advisory read.
The news comes after Australian officials demanded an independent investigation into the outbreak, which first emerged in Wuhan, prompting China to suspend some Australian beef imports and increase barley tariffs.
GERMANY'S COVID CASES RISE
Germany's COVID-19 infections rose by 407 to 183,678 on Friday, data showed.
The reported death toll rose by 33 to 8,646, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases.
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