LiveCoronavirus in UK live blog: latest as Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden holds daily press briefing

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

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

A satirical poster from the group Led By Donkeys depicting Boris Johnson as former British prime minister Neville Chamberlain delivering his “Peace for Our Time” speech in Kentish Town, London (Photo: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

Coronavirus live blog, May 20

Last updated: Wednesday, 20 May, 2020, 16:27

The duo are taking questions now. 

First Dowden is asked what the government are doing to support poorer nations. He says the 0.7% of national income is going towards aid, “despite all the challenges we have faced”. 

Government also making efforts to make sure that vaccines are affordable. 

Next they are asked how long it will be before NHS workers can move from frontline to regular work?

Professor Powis says if a patient is experiencing emergency symptoms they shouldn’t hesitate to contact the NHS. 

Services for cancer has kept going, although there has been disruption according to Powis. 

We are now in a position where we can start to stand up NHS services that were shut down during surge in April. 

Professor Stephen Powis is speaking now. 

Daily admissions continue to drop. 

Seven day rolling average of deaths consistently downwards. 

“Not the time to… become complacent about this”.

Here’s what Newcastle United footballer Danny Rose said about the return of live football earlier.

Oliver Dowden is speaking now. 

177,216 tests carried out yesterday. 363 more fatalities in all settings since yesterday. 

He is now providing an update on the culture sector

Queen’s birthday honours list delayed until autumn.

British people have contributed £800m in fundraising campaigns. Government have matched every penny raised by BBC’s big night in. £70m being distributed by comic relief to charities on the frontline. 

Support scheme for small and medium charites will open for applications this week.

£150m released from dormant accounts to social enterprises. 

On live sport he says that this week he is setting up a renewal task force to help get industries back up and running. 

“These things will return when it is safe to do so”.

Oliver Dowden is speaking now. 

177,216 tests carried out yesterday. 363 more fatalities in all settings since yesterday. 

He is now providing an update on the culture sector

Queen’s birthday honours list delayed until autumn.

British people have contributed £800m in fundraising campaigns. Government have matched every penny raised by BBC’s big night in. £70m being distributed by comic relief to charities on the frontline. 

Support scheme for small and medium charites will open for applications this week.

£150m released from dormant accounts to social enterprises. 

On live sport he says that this week he is setting up a renewal taskforce to help get industries back up and running. 

Oliver Dowden is set to take the daily press briefing at 5pm. 

He will be joined by professor Steven Powis. 

Customers could be stopped from drinking at the bar at pubs as part of new proposals aimed at helping hospitality firms reopen on July 4.

Restrictions on the number of children in outdoor playing areas and patrols of smoking areas have also been put forward among potential measures touted to help sites meet coronavirus guidelines.

The leader of Bury Conservative Group has written to the Labour council's leadership to ask them to share evidence to support its decision not to reopen primary schools from June 1.

Councillor Nick Jones said: "At no point, to my knowledge, has there been a resolution of council and/or a briefing to the cabinet (for children and families) to put forward the reasons why schools should remain closed across Bury, Radcliffe, Whitefield, Prestwich, Tottington and Ramsbottom.

"In the absence of such advice, I can only conclude the letter issued to head teachers is clearly politically-motivated and not one which is backed up by scientific or Bury council officer advice."

He added: "The welfare of children and staff should be at the heart of all decisions being taken on this issue, not the political views of the Labour administration in Bury."

Labour said a track-and-trace system should be in place before schools return.

A spokesman for party leader Sir Keir Starmer told reporters during a telephone briefing: "What we are calling for is for the Government to try and reach a consensus with teachers' and parents' organisations to drive a way through and find a way to respond to those concerns with practical proposals within the next couple of weeks."

Asked what sort of practical proposals it was looking for, the spokesman added: "The three things we've called for is that, firstly, the Government should publish the scientific advice behind the rationale for the June 1 date to create transparency

"Secondly, we've said the track-and-trace system needs to be in place and, thirdly, what we've said is the Government needs to bring parent groups, teachers and trade unions together to try and find a consensus to raise some of the concerns that have been raised."

SNP Westminster leader concurs with Sir Keir describing the surcharge for immigrant workers as “cruel”. 

He said: "The Home Secretary (Priti Patel) and the Prime Minister seem hell-bent on implementing a purely ideological immigration policy with no basis in fairness or economics. This Government has talked about giving back to our NHS and care staff, well it's time for the Prime Minister to deliver. 

"People migrating to these nations and choosing to work in our NHS and our care sector must have this Government's cruel NHS surcharge removed, and removed immediately. Will the Prime Minister make that pledge today or will he clap on Thursday hoping that no-one really notices that he's giving with one hand and raking it in with the other?" 

Mr Johnson responded: "This is the party that is putting more into the NHS - £34 billion - the biggest investment in modern times and believe me we will continue with that investment."

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