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Coronavirus live blog, May 21
Last updated: Thursday, 21 May, 2020, 17:18
EasyJet to resume domestic flights
EasyJet will resume a small number of mainly domestic flights from 22 European airports from June 15.
They will serve a number of UK airports including Gatwick, Bristol, Birmingham, Liverpool, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Belfast.
The airline said it is "introducing new measures to help ensure safety and wellbeing, including enhanced aircraft cleaning and disinfection and requirement for passengers and crew to wear masks".
University of Oxford's potential Covid-19 vaccine could be available by September
Pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca has said it has the capacity to manufacture one billion doses of the University of Oxford's potential Covid-19 vaccine and will begin supply in September.
The firm said it has secured the first agreements for at least 400 million doses of the vaccine.
It said it aims to conclude further deals in order to expand capacity over the next few months to "ensure the delivery of a globally accessible vaccine".
ONS: no evidence of higher infection rate in men
The Office for National Statistics have said there was no evidence of an increased level of infection in men compared to women, based on the proportion testing positive for coronavirus.
Some 0.26% of women and 0.21% of men are estimated to have tested positive between May 4-17.
The figures refer to infections reported in the community, and excludes those reported in hospitals, care homes or other institutional settings.
Sadiq Khan 'very cautious' on easing lockdown measures
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has said he remains "very cautious" about easing more lockdown measures.
Discussing declining coronavirus infection rates in the capital, Mr Khan told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I'm still very cautious, the virus is still out there.
"But what this good news - and it is good news - gives us is a window of opportunity to begin the test, trace, isolate and support programme which we so desperately need.
"Let me tell you why: we know that test, trace, isolate works best when numbers are low and we've got a small window now to be testing everyone that has got symptoms, to be tracing everyone they have been in contact with over the last few days and then to make sure they are tested, isolated and supported.
"Because my fear is that this good news could lead to complacency, which could lead to a second wave that would overwhelm the NHS and be really bad for people's lives, but also their livelihoods."
IOC president on potential cancellation of the Tokyo Olympics
Manufacturing output declines at record pace
Manufacturing output in the UK has fallen at a record pace as firms continue to grapple with the impact of the coronavirus crisis, a new study suggests.
Research by the CBI indicated that output in the crucial sector in the three months to May dropped at the fastest rate since its records began in 1975.
A survey of 385 manufacturers found that worst-hit sectors included motor vehicles, transport equipment, food, drink and tobacco.
Scotland set to find out lockdown fate
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is set to reveal Scotland’s route out of lockdown at 12.30pm.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon outlines Scotland road map
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is addressing the Scottish Parliament.
She outlines Scotland’s first phase of lcokdwon easing which could see the following:
- More outdoor activity permitted including sitting and sunbathing in parks.
- Can meet people from other households, but only outside. Must remain 2 metres apart from eachother. Visiting inside eachothers houses not permitted in phase 1.
- Golf, tennis, bowls and fishing restarting subject to sufficient social distancing.
- People will be able to travel short distances for recreation, but where possible stay in local area.
- Waste and recycling services resume.
- Agriculture and forestry restart. Construction can reopen, but must work with unions.
- Takeaway and drive-thru restaurants no longer discouraged from opening Garden centres can reopen, but non-essential indoor shops, cafes and restaurants must remain closed.
- Face to face children’s hearings will restart.
- Phased resumption of aspects of criminal justice system.
- Areas of NHS will be unpaused.
Lib Dem peer agrees to return furlough money
Liberal Democrat peer Lord Christopher Fox has admitted making an "error of judgment" after furloughing himself while continuing to claim a three-figure daily allowance for his work in Parliament.
He decided to furlough himself as the owner and sole employee of Vulpes Advisory, a communications and consultancy company, but continued to pick-up his daily £162 allowance for carrying out his work virtually as a peer in the House of Lords.
But Lord Fox has now confirmed he will repay the money he received during his time on furlough.
Boris Johnson in U-turn over NHS surcharge
Sir Keir responds to U-turn
Leader of the Opposition has welcomed the U-turn.
The Labour leader raised the issue at Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday.
Matt Hancock is set to hold today’s daily press briefing at 5pm.
He will be joined by Professor John Newton
Matt Hancock is speaking now.
Noting that it is Mental Health Awareness Week he says it is normal to feel “low, anxious and unhappy now”. He says if you need it, “please seek help”.
The Health Secretary announces that we are not yet in a position where we can say that those who test positive in antibody tests are immune from coronavirus. He says the insight these tests provide will be crucial.
He says around 17% of people in London and 5% or higher in the rest of the country have tested positive for coronavirus. This is based on a sample.
More antibody tests needed. UK have signed contracts to supply 10 million tests. These will be rolled out in a phased way, first to care workers.
“Understanding an enemy is fundamental to defeating it."