Here’s what you need to know on 5 May. This article was updated at 5.30pm.
Deaths: The number of people who have died in hospitals across the UK after contracting coronavirus has risen by 453 in 24 hours. The increase consists of 366 in England, 44 in Scotland, 26 in Wales and 17 in Northern Ireland. Read more here.
The UK has now suffered the worst coronavirus death toll in Europe, ahead of Italy, and ranks behind only the US in the world. The Office for National Statistics’ head of health analysis and life events division Nick Stripe said 30,000 deaths had taken place in the UK where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate. Read more here.
Policy: Healthy over-70s would be released from stringent coronavirus social distancing measures, it has emerged following reports all those at risk could be asked to shield for 18 months. Ministers are hoping to clarify the rules amid criticism is it confusing. Read more here.
The risk of coronavirus spread is up to 30 times higher when someone is a metre away from an infected person rather than two metres, the government’s chief scientific adviser has said. Sir Patrick Vallance, giving evidence to the Commons health and social care select committee, emphasised the importance of abiding by the two-metre distancing guidelines set out by supermarkets and other essential shops during the lockdown. Read more here.
The UK’s coronavirus lockdown restrictions should be eased “very gradually”, according to the government’s science advisers. The measures will be reviewed on Thursday and Boris Johnson will lay out the road map out of lockdown on Sunday. Read more here.
Changes to the coronavirus lockdown could see people allowed to meet a small number of family or friends outdoors, Nicola Sturgeon has said. The Scottish first minister said it could become possible to meet “with small defined groups” of people. Read more here.
NHS: A doctor has warned people to be careful during the weekly Clap for Carers after seeing “interesting little peaks” in accident rates on Thursdays. Dr John Wright, from Bradford Royal Infirmary, urged caution from people who are sitting all day and then get up to clap, or older people who might fall. Read more here.
NHS Nightingale North East opened on Tuesday in Sunderland, with a special video message from Sophie, the Countess of Wessex. London’s Nightingale hospital is not expected to admit any more coronavirus patients. Read more here.
Business: McDonalds has revealed the 15 restaurants it will reopen from 13 May with most of them in London. There will be a limited menu on offer, with no breakfast, and restaurants will be delivery only. Read more here.
The airline Virgin Atlantic has announced plans to slash 3,150 jobs across its workforce, blaming the “devastating’ coronavirus crisis. The company, majority owned by Virgin tycoon Richard Branson, warned a recovery in air travel could take up to three years, with travel fears and lockdowns hammering passenger numbers. Read more here.
Crime: There’s been a rise in the number of hate crimes committed against Chinese people, figures show. At least 267 offences were recorded in the first three months of 2020 during the pandemic. Read more here.
Technology: The UK government now has “clear evidence” that “particularly dangerous” cybercriminals are targeting organisations and firms that are responding to the coronavirus crisis, foreign secretary Dominic Raab said on Tuesday. Read more here.
Rest of the world
Leaked documents predict there could be 3,000 coronavirus deaths a day in the US by early June according to the New York Times. It could throw into question the relaxation of social distancing. Read more here.
The EU has flatly contradicted Boris Johnson’s claim coronavirus is on a “downward slope”, warning the UK is one of five European countries where infection numbers have yet to significantly decline. Read more here.
Latest coronavirus news, updates and advice
Ireland is easing some of its coronavirus restrictions, widening the area from homes which people are allowed to exercise. Read more here.
A care home in Norfolk was treated to a drive-through disco to allow visits from a safe distance. Read more here.