MEAT and greet! Britain is set for a 77F scorcher today as barbecues resume

1 juin 2020 0 Par ADMIN

Britain is set for a 77F scorcher today as thousands are breaking out barbecues due to lockdown being eased with the Government allowing groups of six to meet.

Restrictions across the country are lifting today as schools reopen for Reception as well as years One and Six and outdoor markets reopen along with car showrooms.

Horse racing will resume at Newcastle Racecourse but there will be no spectators present at the venue as mass gatherings remain banned.

And vulnerable people who have until now been advised to stay indoors due to the coronavirus pandemic will be permitted to go outside. 

It comes after tombstoners were spotted in Plymouth and Dorset yesterday as thousands of Britons flouted lockdown by flocking to beaches ahead the government officially easing restrictions tomorrow.

Thrill-seekers ignored clear warnings and plunged 200ft off the cliffs at Dorset’s famous Durdle Door beach today less than 24 hours after four divers were injured at the same point.

Thousands of lockdown-weary families hit Britain’s parks and beaches to lap up the 75F (24C) heat despite government pleas for restraint, with Professor Jonathan Van-Tam asking the public ‘not to tear the pants out of’ the new rules during yesterday’s national press briefing. 

Dominic Raab today warned that a second UK lockdown could be imposed if there is an ‘uptick’ in cases after Britons are allowed to meet up to six people from different households, have barbecues and go to fitness classes once more. 

As part of the easing of lockdown restrictions, 2.2 million vulnerable people will be able to go outside with members of their household, while continuing to follow social distancing guidelines, from tomorrow.  

Those who live alone will be able to meet outside with one other person from another household, in a move that will come as a release to the largely-elderly shielding population.

People sunbathe on the beach looking east towards the i360 in Hove, on the south coast of England on May 31, 2020 on the eve of a further relaxation of the novel coronavirus lockdown rules

People sunbathe on the beach looking east towards the i360 in Hove, on the south coast of England on May 31, 2020 on the eve of a further relaxation of the novel coronavirus lockdown rules

People sunbathe on the beach looking east towards the i360 in Hove, on the south coast of England on May 31, 2020 on the eve of a further relaxation of the novel coronavirus lockdown rules 

People gather together at Richmond Falls beauty spot on the River Swale, North Yorkshire on Sunday as they enjoy the sunny weather

People gather together at Richmond Falls beauty spot on the River Swale, North Yorkshire on Sunday as they enjoy the sunny weather

People gather together at Richmond Falls beauty spot on the River Swale, North Yorkshire on Sunday as they enjoy the sunny weather

Durdle Door in Dorset is filled with visitors this afternoon, despite four people being injured and the air ambulance being called on yesterday

Durdle Door in Dorset is filled with visitors this afternoon, despite four people being injured and the air ambulance being called on yesterday

Durdle Door in Dorset is filled with visitors this afternoon, despite four people being injured and the air ambulance being called on yesterday

A man is pictured jumping from Durdle Door today despite warnings after people were injured yesterday and the council closing the beach

A man is pictured jumping from Durdle Door today despite warnings after people were injured yesterday and the council closing the beach

A man is pictured jumping from Durdle Door today despite warnings after people were injured yesterday and the council closing the beach 

People continue to ignore warnings not to jump from Durdle Door on Sunday

People continue to ignore warnings not to jump from Durdle Door on Sunday

Pictured: A man jumps from the 200ft ancient limestone arch yesterday at Durdle Door, Dorset

Pictured: A man jumps from the 200ft ancient limestone arch yesterday at Durdle Door, Dorset

People continue to dive from Durdle Door on Sunday, despite warnings from the council telling visitors not to do so 

Tombstoners have also been spotted leaping into the water along Plymouth's seafront today, despite four people injured in Dorset on Saturday

Tombstoners have also been spotted leaping into the water along Plymouth's seafront today, despite four people injured in Dorset on Saturday

Tombstoners have also been spotted leaping into the water along Plymouth’s seafront today, despite four people injured in Dorset on Saturday

Pictured: People take to Durdle Door and dive off today despite the council warning that it is shut for safety reasons

Pictured: People take to Durdle Door and dive off today despite the council warning that it is shut for safety reasons

Pictured: People take to Durdle Door and dive off today despite the council warning that it is shut for safety reasons 

People are pictured descending on the beach at Durdle Door, Dorset, despite the council warning that it is closed today

People are pictured descending on the beach at Durdle Door, Dorset, despite the council warning that it is closed today

People are pictured descending on the beach at Durdle Door, Dorset, despite the council warning that it is closed today 

Pictured: A council worker places a warning sign at the scene in Durdle Door after people yesterday leaped into the sea

Pictured: A council worker places a warning sign at the scene in Durdle Door after people yesterday leaped into the sea

The coastguard is out patrolling at Durdle Door today. The Dorset beach is packed with visitors, despite the air ambulance landing at the beach yesterday

The coastguard is out patrolling at Durdle Door today. The Dorset beach is packed with visitors, despite the air ambulance landing at the beach yesterday

The coastguard is out patrolling at Durdle Door today. The Dorset beach is packed with visitors, despite the air ambulance landing at the beach yesterday

People were spotted jumping into the water at Three Shires Head on the River Dane in Cheshire on Sunday afternoon

People were spotted jumping into the water at Three Shires Head on the River Dane in Cheshire on Sunday afternoon

People were spotted jumping into the water at Three Shires Head on the River Dane in Cheshire on Sunday afternoon

There is no room for social distancing as umbrellas line Bournemouth beach on Sunday afternoon

There is no room for social distancing as umbrellas line Bournemouth beach on Sunday afternoon

There is no room for social distancing as umbrellas line Bournemouth beach on Sunday afternoon 

Bourton-on-the-Water in the Cotswolds is packed with visitors this afternoon as families visit the banks of its river

Bourton-on-the-Water in the Cotswolds is packed with visitors this afternoon as families visit the banks of its river

Bourton-on-the-Water in the Cotswolds is packed with visitors this afternoon as families visit the banks of its river 

Tombstoners were seen leaping from rocks and the bridge that crosses the River Dane on Sunday afternoon

Tombstoners were seen leaping from rocks and the bridge that crosses the River Dane on Sunday afternoon

Tombstoners were seen leaping from rocks and the bridge that crosses the River Dane on Sunday afternoon 

Brighton's beaches were a popular choice for sunseekers looking to soak up the rays this weekend. Most beach-goers appear to be a safe two-metres apart from others

Brighton's beaches were a popular choice for sunseekers looking to soak up the rays this weekend. Most beach-goers appear to be a safe two-metres apart from others

Brighton’s beaches were a popular choice for sunseekers looking to soak up the rays this weekend. Most beach-goers appear to be a safe two-metres apart from others 

A large number of police officers were seen patrolling Richmond Falls in North Yorkshire to ensure visitors maintained social distancing rules

A large number of police officers were seen patrolling Richmond Falls in North Yorkshire to ensure visitors maintained social distancing rules

A large number of police officers were seen patrolling Richmond Falls in North Yorkshire to ensure visitors maintained social distancing rules

People were seen gathering at Richmond Falls in North Yorkshire as they soaked up the sun on this scorching weekend

People were seen gathering at Richmond Falls in North Yorkshire as they soaked up the sun on this scorching weekend

People were seen gathering at Richmond Falls in North Yorkshire as they soaked up the sun on this scorching weekend

Two people rescued after aircraft crashes into water in Southampton 

A pilot and a passenger had to be rescued by the coastguard after their light aircraft crashed into the sea in Southampton.

The coastguard said the pair – who were both onboard the aircraft – were found by a nearby vessel at Calshot Spit. 

A large parachute could be seen attached to the back of the wreckage, suggesting it was deployed when the aircraft got into trouble.

An emergency responder can be heard telling onlookers to ‘clear the beach’.

The plane could be seen on the shore in Southampton. It lay belly-up and appeared to be washed up

The plane could be seen on the shore in Southampton. It lay belly-up and appeared to be washed up

The plane could be seen on the shore in Southampton. It lay belly-up and appeared to be washed up

In a tweet on Sunday, the Coastguard wrote: ‘HM Coastguard is dealing with an ongoing incident at Calshot Spit, where we are aware that an aircraft went down into the water.

‘Two people were onboard the aircraft and both people have been rescued.

‘They were located by a nearby vessel.’

No details on the condition of the rescued people were given.

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Speaking at today’s Downing Street press briefing, Robert Jenrick said the Government will review the risks to the clinically extremely vulnerable as part of each review of social distancing measures for the wider population.

The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government said the next review of shielding measures will take place in the week beginning on June 15.

Of the new guidance which allows people to spend time outdoors, he said: ‘This will enable those shielding to see loved ones like children and grandchildren, something many I know are aching to do.

‘Having spent many weeks indoors some will understandably be very cautious and concerned about going outdoors. You should only do what you are comfortable with.’

He added: ‘If the conditions become less favourable our advice to those being asked to shield will unfortunately need to be tightened. 

‘The Government will continue to ensure that support is available to those who need it for as long as possible and for as long as people are advised to follow the shielding guidance.’

He said, while the updated guidance from Monday for the shielded is for England only, the Government is working closely with the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland ‘who will issue their own guidance in due course’.

It comes as the RNLI is facing demands to bring its lifeguards back after four tombstoners were injured in Dorset. 

Just sixteen beach patrols out of a possible 248 have been reinstated prompting furious backlash by sunseekers eagerly flocking to picturesque coastal spots.

Some lifeguards have started patrolling for free but without the RNLI’s backing they don’t have access to official lifesaving equipment, The Times reports.  

Hundreds have joined the #ReturnToShore campaign, with one saying ‘The RNLI lifeguard service is the only emergency service which did not continue during the pandemic. Why?’

  • Boris Johnson has issued a stern rebuke to his aide Dominic Cummings, warning that he ‘will not tolerate’ another media firestorm. The Prime Minister has ordered his top adviser to stay firmly out of the public eye following the crisis caused by his lockdown trip from London to Durham. 
  • Restless Britons on Satruday brushed aside warnings from police and scientists and were tempted outdoors by scorching temperatures, which climbed to highs of 82F 
  • Britain recorded 215 more Covid-19 deaths on Saturday, taking the official number of coronavirus victims to 38,376 – but it is the lowest Saturday total since lockdown began; 
  • Three SAGE scientists warned over the weekend that the lockdown is being lifted too quickly 
  • Thousands of sunbathers were forced to cram together at Durdle Door today as air ambulance helicopters were called to reports of three people seriously injured after jumping off cliffs into the sea 
  • A long, hot summer could help curb the spread of Covid-19, according to a top epidemiologist.. 
Speaking at today's Downing Street press briefing, Robert Jenrick (pictured) said the Government will review the risks to the clinically extremely vulnerable as part of each review of social distancing measures for the wider population

Speaking at today's Downing Street press briefing, Robert Jenrick (pictured) said the Government will review the risks to the clinically extremely vulnerable as part of each review of social distancing measures for the wider population

Speaking at today’s Downing Street press briefing, Robert Jenrick (pictured) said the Government will review the risks to the clinically extremely vulnerable as part of each review of social distancing measures for the wider population

Brits have been warned to take the easing of lockdown measures slowly, but Bournemouth beach shows families and other visitors squeezing together

Brits have been warned to take the easing of lockdown measures slowly, but Bournemouth beach shows families and other visitors squeezing together

Brits have been warned to take the easing of lockdown measures slowly, but Bournemouth beach shows families and other visitors squeezing together

Three Shires Head on the River Dane is attracting visitors during the warm weather on Sunday

Three Shires Head on the River Dane is attracting visitors during the warm weather on Sunday

Three Shires Head on the River Dane is attracting visitors during the warm weather on Sunday 

Britons enjoying the good weather at Ruislip Lido in London, as the public are being reminded to practice social distancing following the relaxation of lockdown restrictions

Britons enjoying the good weather at Ruislip Lido in London, as the public are being reminded to practice social distancing following the relaxation of lockdown restrictions

Britons enjoying the good weather at Ruislip Lido in London, as the public are being reminded to practice social distancing following the relaxation of lockdown restrictions

Crowds have flocked to Bournemouth beach on England's south coast ahead of lockdown measures being eased on Monday

Crowds have flocked to Bournemouth beach on England's south coast ahead of lockdown measures being eased on Monday

Crowds have flocked to Bournemouth beach on England’s south coast ahead of lockdown measures being eased on Monday

Sunbathers are out in force on Brighton Beach today on the eve of a further relaxation of the novel coronavirus lockdown rules

Sunbathers are out in force on Brighton Beach today on the eve of a further relaxation of the novel coronavirus lockdown rules

Sunbathers are out in force on Brighton Beach today on the eve of a further relaxation of the novel coronavirus lockdown rules

Gulls flock above sunbathers on the beach in Brighton as Britain enjoys roasting 75F (24C) summer heat

Gulls flock above sunbathers on the beach in Brighton as Britain enjoys roasting 75F (24C) summer heat

Gulls flock above sunbathers on the beach in Brighton as Britain enjoys roasting 75F (24C) summer heat

Paddleboarders exercise social-distancing while afloat in the calm sea off Brighton - as thousands cram Britain's beauty spots to soak up the day's 75F (24C) heat

Paddleboarders exercise social-distancing while afloat in the calm sea off Brighton - as thousands cram Britain's beauty spots to soak up the day's 75F (24C) heat

Paddleboarders exercise social-distancing while afloat in the calm sea off Brighton – as thousands cram Britain’s beauty spots to soak up the day’s 75F (24C) heat

Ruislip Lido in London is packed today with social distancing appearing almost forgotten ahead of the more lockdown restrictions being eased by the government tomorrow

Ruislip Lido in London is packed today with social distancing appearing almost forgotten ahead of the more lockdown restrictions being eased by the government tomorrow

Ruislip Lido in London is packed today with social distancing appearing almost forgotten ahead of the more lockdown restrictions being eased by the government tomorrow 

People fill the beach at Durdle Door, near Lulworth, today despite Dorset Council announcing that the beach was closed to the public

People fill the beach at Durdle Door, near Lulworth, today despite Dorset Council announcing that the beach was closed to the public

People fill the beach at Durdle Door, near Lulworth, today despite Dorset Council announcing that the beach was closed to the public 

Brighton sunbathers soak up the 75F (24c) rays today on the eve of a further relaxation of the novel coronavirus lockdown rules.

Brighton sunbathers soak up the 75F (24c) rays today on the eve of a further relaxation of the novel coronavirus lockdown rules.

Brighton sunbathers soak up the 75F (24c) rays today on the eve of a further relaxation of the novel coronavirus lockdown rules.

Topless cyclists ride along the Mall in London today as the parks across the city are packed with lockdown-wearing Britons soakin gup the 75F (24C) sun

Topless cyclists ride along the Mall in London today as the parks across the city are packed with lockdown-wearing Britons soakin gup the 75F (24C) sun

Topless cyclists ride along the Mall in London today as the parks across the city are packed with lockdown-wearing Britons soakin gup the 75F (24C) sun

Large groups, mainly of young people, continue to breach the existing rules and even the eased rules coming in to force tomorrow, in Clapham Common, South London

Large groups, mainly of young people, continue to breach the existing rules and even the eased rules coming in to force tomorrow, in Clapham Common, South London

Large groups, mainly of young people, continue to breach the existing rules and even the eased rules coming in to force tomorrow, in Clapham Common, South London

People enjoy the sun on Clapham Common after the Government eased restrictions and allowed people to meet from Monday

People enjoy the sun on Clapham Common after the Government eased restrictions and allowed people to meet from Monday

People enjoy the sun on Clapham Common after the Government eased restrictions and allowed people to meet from Monday

Many seem to be jumping the gun on, and exceeding, the new rules for meeting groups that come into force tomorrow as they enjoy the sun in Brockwell Park, South London

Many seem to be jumping the gun on, and exceeding, the new rules for meeting groups that come into force tomorrow as they enjoy the sun in Brockwell Park, South London

Many seem to be jumping the gun on, and exceeding, the new rules for meeting groups that come into force tomorrow as they enjoy the sun in Brockwell Park, South London

A group enjoy a drink in close proximity and take a selfie while not social distancing in Clapham common, south London

A group enjoy a drink in close proximity and take a selfie while not social distancing in Clapham common, south London

A group enjoy a drink in close proximity and take a selfie while not social distancing in Clapham common, south London

A tombstoner can be seen plummeting towards the sea after vaulting from the top of the ancient limestone arch known as Durdle Door in Dorset

A tombstoner can be seen plummeting towards the sea after vaulting from the top of the ancient limestone arch known as Durdle Door in Dorset

A tombstoner can be seen plummeting towards the sea after vaulting from the top of the ancient limestone arch known as Durdle Door in Dorset

A member of the coastguard looks over a packed beach at Durdle Door, near Lulworth, despite Dorset Council announcing that the beach was closed to the public

A member of the coastguard looks over a packed beach at Durdle Door, near Lulworth, despite Dorset Council announcing that the beach was closed to the public

A member of the coastguard looks over a packed beach at Durdle Door, near Lulworth, despite Dorset Council announcing that the beach was closed to the public 

Police patrol the cliff top near Durdle Door, Lulworth, after Dorset Council announced that the beach was closed to the public after three people were seriously injured jumping off cliffs into the sea

Police patrol the cliff top near Durdle Door, Lulworth, after Dorset Council announced that the beach was closed to the public after three people were seriously injured jumping off cliffs into the sea

Police patrol the cliff top near Durdle Door, Lulworth, after Dorset Council announced that the beach was closed to the public after three people were seriously injured jumping off cliffs into the sea

Members of HM Coastguard Search and Rescue at Durdle Door, near Lulworth, despite Dorset Council announcing that the beach was closed to the public after three people were seriously injured jumping off cliffs into the sea

Members of HM Coastguard Search and Rescue at Durdle Door, near Lulworth, despite Dorset Council announcing that the beach was closed to the public after three people were seriously injured jumping off cliffs into the sea

Members of HM Coastguard Search and Rescue at Durdle Door, near Lulworth, despite Dorset Council announcing that the beach was closed to the public after three people were seriously injured jumping off cliffs into the sea 

One RNLI lifeguard, who has started patrolling on a voluntary basis, said: ‘It feels as though the RNLI bosses don’t have our back. We’re volunteering with minimal equipment and at far greater risk.’  

From Monday, groups of up to six people will be able to meet outside in England as long as they observe social distancing as part of efforts to fight coronavirus.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said today: ‘This is a sensitive moment. We can’t just stay in lockdown forever. We have got to transition.’

Asked whether the lockdown will be tightened again if infection rates increase, Mr Raab told Sky News’ Ridge on Sunday: ‘We will target, if there is any uptick, and it could be in a locality, it could be in a particular setting, we will target very carefully measures that would apply to it so that we can take these steps but also keep control of the virus.’ 

Visitors begin to arrive at Durdle Door at Lulworth in Dorset and walk the path to the beach at the start of another day of scorching hot sunshine

Visitors begin to arrive at Durdle Door at Lulworth in Dorset and walk the path to the beach at the start of another day of scorching hot sunshine

Visitors begin to arrive at Durdle Door at Lulworth in Dorset and walk the path to the beach at the start of another day of scorching hot sunshine  

Inconsiderate visitors left this rubbish at the beach next to Durdle Door and the council warned people to stay away today following dangerous jumping yesterday

Inconsiderate visitors left this rubbish at the beach next to Durdle Door and the council warned people to stay away today following dangerous jumping yesterday

Inconsiderate visitors left this rubbish at the beach next to Durdle Door and the council warned people to stay away today following dangerous jumping yesterday  

Visitors begin to arrive at Durdle Door at Lulworth in Dorset at the start of another day of scorching hot sunshine despite officials warning them to stay away

Visitors begin to arrive at Durdle Door at Lulworth in Dorset at the start of another day of scorching hot sunshine despite officials warning them to stay away

Visitors begin to arrive at Durdle Door at Lulworth in Dorset at the start of another day of scorching hot sunshine despite officials warning them to stay away 

Visitors begin to arrive at the beach at Durdle Door at Lulworth in Dorset at the start of another day of scorching hot sunshine

Visitors begin to arrive at the beach at Durdle Door at Lulworth in Dorset at the start of another day of scorching hot sunshine

Visitors begin to arrive at the beach at Durdle Door at Lulworth in Dorset at the start of another day of scorching hot sunshine

Visitors begin to arrive at Durdle Door at Lulworth in Dorset at the start of another day of scorching hot sunshine with sunbathers heading to the beauty spot despite warnings not to do so

Visitors begin to arrive at Durdle Door at Lulworth in Dorset at the start of another day of scorching hot sunshine with sunbathers heading to the beauty spot despite warnings not to do so

Visitors begin to arrive at Durdle Door at Lulworth in Dorset at the start of another day of scorching hot sunshine with sunbathers heading to the beauty spot despite warnings not to do so 

Congestion levels in Southampton over the weekend show a 27 per cent rise in traffic from last week, suggesting more cars are heading to towards sea side towns

Congestion levels in Southampton over the weekend show a 27 per cent rise in traffic from last week, suggesting more cars are heading to towards sea side towns

Congestion levels in Southampton over the weekend show a 27 per cent rise in traffic from last week, suggesting more cars are heading to towards sea side towns

Congestion data for Bournemouth showed a 14 per cent rise in traffic over last week, while London only saw three per cent more traffic on last week

Congestion data for Bournemouth showed a 14 per cent rise in traffic over last week, while London only saw three per cent more traffic on last week

Congestion data for Bournemouth showed a 14 per cent rise in traffic over last week, while London only saw three per cent more traffic on last week

The number of cars on the road in Southampton over the weekend was up 27 per cent from last week, suggesting more traffic is heading to towards sea side towns.

While congestion data for Bournemouth showed a 14 per cent rise in traffic over last week, while London and Birmingham only saw a three per cent rise in traffic this weekend compared to last week.  

Liverpool saw 12 per cent more cars on the road this weekend verses last weekend while traffic in Manchester was up four per cent on last weekend. 

Yesterday a picturesque beach was trashed by revellers who left beer bottles, rubbish and laughing has cannisters strewn across the sand.

Formby beach in Merseyside was covered with litter on Saturday, despite pleas from police to continue social distancing.

In a statement the force said: ‘We are also asking people to remain respectful and protect our public spaces.

‘In recent days we have received reports of excessive littering and fires and BBQs being lit as well as people parking illegally and inconsiderately by blocking driveways and residential roads.’  

Despite the crowds being forced to group together following Saturday's incident, people continue to flock to Durdle Door today

Despite the crowds being forced to group together following Saturday's incident, people continue to flock to Durdle Door today

Despite the crowds being forced to group together following Saturday’s incident, people continue to flock to Durdle Door today

People make their way down the steps to the beach at Durdle Door, near Lulworth, today despite Dorset Council announcing that the beach was closed

People make their way down the steps to the beach at Durdle Door, near Lulworth, today despite Dorset Council announcing that the beach was closed

People make their way down the steps to the beach at Durdle Door, near Lulworth, today despite Dorset Council announcing that the beach was closed 

Crowds have returned to Durdle Door today after the air ambulance was called to the Dorset beach on Saturday afternoon

Crowds have returned to Durdle Door today after the air ambulance was called to the Dorset beach on Saturday afternoon

Crowds have returned to Durdle Door today after the air ambulance was called to the Dorset beach on Saturday afternoon

Pictured: Grassholme Reservoir in County Durham today as temperatures across the country soar while lockdown restrictions are still in place

Pictured: Grassholme Reservoir in County Durham today as temperatures across the country soar while lockdown restrictions are still in place

Pictured: Grassholme Reservoir in County Durham today as temperatures across the country soar while lockdown restrictions are still in place  

People have taken to Brighton beach today with lockdown rules still in place as groups practised social distancing at the seaside

People have taken to Brighton beach today with lockdown rules still in place as groups practised social distancing at the seaside

People have taken to Brighton beach today with lockdown rules still in place as groups practised social distancing at the seaside 

Sunseekers are pictured on Brighton beach today as the UK prepares to further ease lockdown rules tomorrow and temperatures soar

Sunseekers are pictured on Brighton beach today as the UK prepares to further ease lockdown rules tomorrow and temperatures soar

Sunseekers are pictured on Brighton beach today as the UK prepares to further ease lockdown rules tomorrow and temperatures soar 

People sunbathe on the beach in front of the derelict West Pier in Brighton, on the south coast of England on May 31, 2020 on the eve of a further relaxation of the novel coronavirus lockdown rules

People sunbathe on the beach in front of the derelict West Pier in Brighton, on the south coast of England on May 31, 2020 on the eve of a further relaxation of the novel coronavirus lockdown rules

People sunbathe on the beach in front of the derelict West Pier in Brighton, on the south coast of England on May 31, 2020 on the eve of a further relaxation of the novel coronavirus lockdown rules 

People enjoy the sunshine on a beach at Ruislip Lido at a reservoir in Ruislip, Britain, 31 May 2020 amid soaring temperatures

People enjoy the sunshine on a beach at Ruislip Lido at a reservoir in Ruislip, Britain, 31 May 2020 amid soaring temperatures

People enjoy the sunshine on a beach at Ruislip Lido at a reservoir in Ruislip, Britain, 31 May 2020 amid soaring temperatures 

People apply suncream in the sunshine on a beach at Ruislip Lido at a reservoir in Ruislip, Britain, 31 May 2020 with the south-east experiencing a surge in temperatures

People apply suncream in the sunshine on a beach at Ruislip Lido at a reservoir in Ruislip, Britain, 31 May 2020 with the south-east experiencing a surge in temperatures

People apply suncream in the sunshine on a beach at Ruislip Lido at a reservoir in Ruislip, Britain, 31 May 2020 with the south-east experiencing a surge in temperatures 

Dominic Raab admits lockdown will need to be tightened again if there is an ‘uptick’ in coronavirus cases

Dominic Raab today defended easing coronavirus lockdown in England despite a chorus of warnings about a second spike – but admitted that curbs will have to be tightened again if there is an ‘uptick’.

The Foreign Secretary acknowledged the loosening that takes effect tomorrow is a ‘sensitive moment’, but insisted the government was making sensible changes to get the country back up and running.

‘We can’t just stay in lockdown forever. We have got to transition,’ he said. 

Mr Raab played down fears that the curbs are being downgraded even though the government’s own coronavirus alert system level remains at four – which suggests they should stay in place.

And he stressed that ministers would not hesitate to reimpose restrictions in ‘localities’ or ‘settings’ if the number of cases begins to flare up again. 

But the Westminster government is facing a wave of opposition to the relaxation from scientists who say an increase in cases is ‘inevitable’, while Nicola Sturgeon has stressed she is being more ‘cautious’ and the virus can still ‘run out of control’.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab (pictured today) said the government would not hesitate to act as he defended the decision to loosen draconian restrictions

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab (pictured today) said the government would not hesitate to act as he defended the decision to loosen draconian restrictions

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab (pictured today) said the government would not hesitate to act as he defended the decision to loosen draconian restrictions

A series of experts have raised concern about the moved to ease the lockdown in England, which takes effect from tomorrow, with the UK still getting 8,000 new infections a day.

Up to six people from six different households will be permitted to meet up in public places or gardens, meaning exercise classes and barbecues are back on the agenda. 

Primary schools and nurseries have also been told they can start to reopen, while all non-essential shops can return from June 15. 

In Scotland and Wales the loosening is far less dramatic, with only two households allowed to meet up at a time and people told not to travel more than five miles from home. Schools north of the border will not be back until after holidays there in August.    

Asked whether the lockdown will be tightened again if infection rates increase, Mr Raab told Sky’s Ridge on Sunday: ‘We will target, if there is any uptick, and it could be in a locality, it could be in a particular setting, we will target very carefully measures that would apply to it so that we can take these steps but also keep control of the virus.’  

Families across England will finally be able to see their elderly relatives again tomorrow, as millions of vulnerable people ‘shielding’ are allowed to spend time outdoors.

As part of the easing of lockdown restrictions, 2.2million vulnerable people will be able to go outside with members of their household, while continuing to follow social distancing guidelines. Those who live alone will be able to meet outside with one other person from another household, in a move that will bring joy to thousands.

Boris Johnson today hailed the ‘resilience’ of those who have been shielding since March, with many having no face-to-face contact since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Prime Minister said: ‘I want to thank everyone who has followed the shielding guidance – it is because of your patience and sacrifice that thousands of lives have been saved. 

‘I do not underestimate just how difficult it has been for you, staying at home for the last ten weeks, and I want to pay tribute to your resilience.’

Meanwhile, Nicola Sturgeon today accused England of under-reporting care home deaths as she swiped at Mr Johnson for easing lockdown too early.

The Scottish First Minister said the apparent higher proportion of victims in care homes north of the border was due to the way they are recorded.

She insisted that people who died of stroke and ‘happened’ to have coronavirus were counted in the numbers in Scotland – whereas they were not in England, meaning that there was ‘under-reporting’.

Asked on Sky News whether she thought that the PM was loosening the lockdown in England too quickly, Ms Sturgeon insisted she did not want to ‘criticise other politicians’ and they were all ‘trying to do the right things’.  

But she pointedly said that in Scotland they were being ‘very cautious’. ‘This virus has not gone away,’ she said. ‘That is why in Scotland we are moving very slowly.’  

Prof Devi Sridhar, who has been advising the Scottish government, warned it looks ‘inevitable’ that cases will rise again in England. 

‘I’m very sorry to say that I think it is right now inevitable looking at the numbers,’ she told Sky.

‘The only thing that might in a sense save England is the good weather and warmth if this virus does indeed die outside quite quickly, but it’s incredibly worrying because the numbers are not low enough to have a testing and tracing system take over.’

‘If your objective is to contain the virus, to drive numbers down and to try to in a sense get rid of it so no-one is exposed to it, then it is not the right measure right now to open up,’ she said.

‘It’s a big risk and gamble for exiting lockdown with a larger number of deaths than we did when we actually entered lockdown months back.’

Prof Sridhar said there was now a clear divide between Government and some scientists, but added that ultimately decisions will be made by politicians.

She said: ‘I think what they should be saying is they consider the science, and hopefully they listen to it but the decision, and who actually has the accountability, are the politicians and leaders.’

Professor Peter Openshaw, who sits on the the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG) to the Government, said people must proceed with ‘great caution’ as the lockdown is eased.

He told the BBC’s Andrew Marr programme: ‘At the moment, we still have quite a large number of cases out there in the community and I think unlocking too fast carries a great risk that all the good work that’s been put in by everyone, to try to reduce transmission may be lost. So we do need to proceed with great, great care at this point.’

Asked if the Government is going too fast, he said: ‘I think there is a pretty unanimous message now that we need to take this slowly and go step by step. We need to evaluate the effect of each step before we move to the next one. 

‘I don’t hear any great dissent amongst the amongst the advisers who are speaking in public at the moment.’

He said it will be around two or three weeks before the effects of the latest easing of restrictions is known.

He told the Marr show: ‘It’s going to be very patchy, it may be that actually easing lockdown is perfectly OK in areas like London which were hit early and hit hard, and where the epidemic seems to have been virtually passed in many parts of the community, with a few exception.

‘But up north it’s still a very large number of cases. I think we need to be more subtle about the geography and we need to look at the particular areas where it may be appropriate to ease lockdown.’

He added: ‘Maybe there needs to be a bit more subtlety to the way in which lockdown is eased.’ 

Prof Openshaw also said he believed advice on who needs to shield can be ‘fine tuned’ to prevent people being kept at home unnecessarily. 

Mr Johnson (pictured in Downing Street this morning) has announced that the lockdown restrictions will be eased slightly in England from tomorrow

Mr Johnson (pictured in Downing Street this morning) has announced that the lockdown restrictions will be eased slightly in England from tomorrow

Mr Johnson (pictured in Downing Street this morning) has announced that the lockdown restrictions will be eased slightly in England from tomorrow

‘I think we’re going to be able to fine-tune the advice now and actually reassure some people who we feared might be susceptible, that in fact they’re not as vulnerable as we thought. So that’s really good news,’ he said. 

Writing in The Sunday Telegraph, the government’s chief science officer Sir Patrick Vallance explained Sage was only there to advise politicians, who have the final say on what to do with evidence presented to them. 

He wrote: ‘Science advice to Cobr and to ministers needs to be direct and given without fear or favour. But it is advice. Ministers must decide and have to take many other factors into consideration.’

The chair of Sage explained the advisory board was not infallible, writing: ‘There is a range of opinions in all of discussions and there is wide reading of the latest research, but what Sage endeavours to do is come down to a position or a range of positions, to provide options ministers could consider and explain the uncertainties and assumptions inherent in that science and evidence.’ 

Unions today insisted summer holidays should not be cancelled because teachers have been working ‘flat out’ during lockdown.

Despite the loss of face-to-face lessons, Mary Bousted, general secretary of the National Education Union, said her members deserved the time off.

She said any headteachers looking to recuperate lessons, especially for those pupils going into GCSEs and A levels, should only offer voluntary clubs and activities during the school holidays.

In a broadside to government the trade union chief also slammed the government’s decision to re-open schools on June 1, saying if they had waited until June 15 the infection rate could have been halved. 

Speaking to Sophy Ridge on Sunday from south London, Bousted said: ‘No. The summer holiday shouldn’t be cancelled because teachers have been working flat out to provide education for children at home.

‘So what should happen is, and we do support this, to have clubs and activities on a volunteer basis for those children to meet together to socialise.

‘We don’t think the emphasis should be on catch up because many of those children will need to re-socialise, re-engage and re-engage with a love of learning and be involved in creative activities which enable them to become part of a wider society again and have the desire to learn again.’

Her words came as a fifth of teachers are expected to stay home on Monday when Reception, Year One and Year Six pupils sit behind their desks again.

The figure was revealed by a TES survey of 5,000 school leaders. 

They may be off because they suffer from health conditions including asthma and diabetes, live with a vulnerable family member or because they are at heightened risk due to their age.

They also found eleven out of the country’s 20 worst performing councils on tests have told head teachers to keep the gates bolted.

The government plans to get Reception, Year One and Year Six pupils back to school on Monday, with an ambition to then get Year 10 and 12 back in lessons on June 15.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have all pushed back their school start dates.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson sought to calm concerned parents today, writing in the Sun on Sunday that pupils will not be allowed to gather in groups larger than 15.

He also assured parents it would be safe, saying ‘strict safety measures’ have been put in place to protect children.

Referring to a Government adviser, Mr Raab said: ‘As Jonathan Van-Tam … has said, with a precarious moment we can ease up, we can protect life, but also livelihoods, get life back to something resembling normal, but we must monitor it very carefully,

‘If there is any up-tick in the number of cases, if we stop making the progress I described, we will have to take further measures again and target the virus wherever it may appear.’

Beach-goers were crammed together to make room for air ambulances to land at Durdle Door in Dorset yesterday after four people injured themselves jumping off cliffs into the sea. 

The four unidentified jumpers vaulted from the top of the ancient limestone arch, which reaches 200ft at its highest point, and are in critical condition, according to Dorset Police.  

Pictured: Today's weather forecast from the Met Office as temperatures are set to climb even higher this afternoon

Pictured: Today's weather forecast from the Met Office as temperatures are set to climb even higher this afternoon

Pictured: The Met Office's forecast for this afternoon

Pictured: The Met Office's forecast for this afternoon

Pictured: Today’s weather forecast from the Met Office as temperatures are set to climb even higher this afternoon 

Images from the scene show a mass of sun-seekers crammed into one area, near the only available exit, as they try to vacate the area as the air ambulance lands.  

‘Don’t tear the pants out of lockdown’  

England’s deputy chief medical officer yesterday pleaded with Britons ‘not to tear the pants out of’ the loosened lockdown when more freedoms are granted on Monday.  

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam warned that abusing new liberties would fuel the spread of infection and said that the lifting of curbs should be treated as if gently lifting the lid on a coiled spring – ‘painstakingly’ slow.   

He told yesterday’s Downing Street press conference: ‘This is a very dangerous moment – we have to get this right. People have to be sensible and proportionate with their freedoms.’ 

Despite initially claiming that only three people were hurt jumping off the famous archway, it emerged last night that the figure is one higher.  

Mark Dowie, the RNLI’s chief executive, wrote an open letter asking the government to restrict beach access before ‘more lives are lost’.

But former Conservative MP Charlotte Leslie says that the RNLI could fun a full £20million lifeguard service from the £124m in crisis funds that it reported in 2018. 

The organisation says that using such funds is not a long-term solution and the group expects a £45million shortfall this year.  

Police, the ambulance service, the coastguard and the RNLI attended the Dorset beauty spot on Saturday afternoon.

Videos posted on social media show people climbing and leaping from the arch at the site, which is 200ft high.

Air ambulances landed at the scene and crowds of people were evacuated from the beach and surrounding cliff area. Dorset Police confirmed that three people had sustained serious injuries and were receiving medical treatment.

That evening, Dorset Council said Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove would be closed ‘until further notice’. On Sunday morning, the council tweeted that the roads to the popular sites remained closed.

‘You will not be able to visit the beaches there and will be asked to turn around if you try and access the villages,’ the council said. 

People social distance whilst waiting for their morning coffee at the Plymouth Hoe in Devon today as temperatures soar

People social distance whilst waiting for their morning coffee at the Plymouth Hoe in Devon today as temperatures soar

People social distance whilst waiting for their morning coffee at the Plymouth Hoe in Devon today as temperatures soar 

People are pictured off the coast at Plymouth Hoe in Devon as sunseekers take to the sea and beach in rising temperatures

People are pictured off the coast at Plymouth Hoe in Devon as sunseekers take to the sea and beach in rising temperatures

People are pictured off the coast at Plymouth Hoe in Devon as sunseekers take to the sea and beach in rising temperatures 

It said the measure would be reviewed on Monday but urged people to avoid the area ‘for now’. Dorset Police tweeted: ‘Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove remain closed today along with approach roads to the area. Please do not travel as you will be turned away.’

On Saturday, a post on Poole Police’s Facebook page said the ‘critical incident’ had involved people jumping from the arch of Durdle Door into the sea.

Man in his 30s dies and two people are rescued after fishing boat sinks a mile off the Lancashire coast 

A man in his 30s has died and two others were rescued from the water after a boat sunk off the coast of Lancashire.

A vessel – thought to be a decommissioned fishing boat – got into trouble about a mile from the coast of Fleetwood.

A man went down with the boat and his body was later found by the RNLI.

The coastguard dispatched two lifeboats, the Shannon class 13-07 and the in-shore D class.

Two men – aged 70 and 71 – were picked up by support vessel Eden Rose from the local wind farm.

A man in his 30s has died and two others were rescued from the water after a boat sunk off the coast of Fleetwood, Lancashire (stock image pictured)

A man in his 30s has died and two others were rescued from the water after a boat sunk off the coast of Fleetwood, Lancashire (stock image pictured)

A man in his 30s has died and two others were rescued from the water after a boat sunk off the coast of Fleetwood, Lancashire (stock image pictured)

The men were taken back to shore by the Shannon class vessel before being rushed to hospital as a precaution after suffering from shock and the effects of the cold water.

The Shannon class vessel then returned to look for the missing man along with the Coastguard helicopter. 

The coastguard dispatched two lifeboats, the Shannon class 13-07 and the in-shore D class (stock image pictured)

The coastguard dispatched two lifeboats, the Shannon class 13-07 and the in-shore D class (stock image pictured)

The coastguard dispatched two lifeboats, the Shannon class 13-07 and the in-shore D class (stock image pictured)

 

‘The arch of Durdle Door is approximately 200 feet in height. Hitting water from that height, roughly 77mph, can be critical,’ it said.

‘This is further compounded by tides, currents and altering depth of the sea bed. It is NOT an appropriate location for this type of activity.’

Meanwhile, people were slammed for running around naked and causing harassment on a popular quayside, have caused a pub to shutdown.

The rising levels of anti social behaviour on The Quay in Exeter, Devon, has led to the Prospect Inn closing down its takeaway service.

The pub said: ‘WE ARE DONE. The anti social behaviour on the Quay worsens day by day, but Friday night was the final straw: abuse, harassment, urination and public nudity.’

Tories today slammed ‘hard-left’ unions opposing the reopening of schools amid claims a fifth of staff will stay off tomorrow.

The National Education Union (NEU) was accused of ‘chasing headlines’ by resisting the ‘phased and cautious’ plans to get pupils back in the classroom.   

The row came as general secretary Mary Bousted dismissed the idea of making up for lost time during the summer holidays, saying her members had been working ‘flat out’ during lockdown and deserved a break.

She said any headteachers looking to lay on catch-up classes, especially for those pupils going into GCSEs and A levels, should only offer voluntary clubs and activities during the school holidays.

Her words came as a fifth of teachers are expected to stay home on Monday when Reception, Year One and Year Six pupils sit behind their desks again. The figure was revealed by a TES survey of 5,000 school leaders.

Speaking to Sophy Ridge on Sunday from her home in south London, Ms Bousted said: ‘No. The summer holiday shouldn’t be cancelled because teachers have been working flat out to provide education for children at home.

‘So what should happen is, and we do support this, to have clubs and activities on a volunteer basis for those children to meet together to socialise. 

‘We don’t think the emphasis should be on catch up because many of those children will need to re-socialise, re-engage and re-engage with a love of learning and be involved in creative activities which enable them to become part of a wider society again and have the desire to learn again.’

 

Dominic Raab today defended easing coronavirus lockdown in England despite a chorus of warnings about a second spike – but admitted that curbs will have to be tightened again if there is an ‘uptick’.

The Foreign Secretary acknowledged the loosening that takes effect tomorrow is a ‘sensitive moment’, but insisted the government was making sensible changes to get the country back up and running.

Spain and Greece warn Britons will NOT be welcome when airlines return to the skies 

Airlines are plotting a major return to the skies come July, amid growing speculation that the government will ease its quarantine measures for international arrivals – but two summer hotspots may not allow Brits to visit.

British Airways, EasyJet and RyanAir have announced thousands of redundancies after the coronavirus lockdown grounded most of their flights in March.

But as domestic lockdown measures ease, companies are now scheduling more than 160,000 passenger flights from July, with room for 29.5million passengers, according to The Sunday Telegraph

Heathrow Airport has been empty in May compared to previous years, but airline companies are now planning a return to service in July, should quarantine measures be eased

Heathrow Airport has been empty in May compared to previous years, but airline companies are now planning a return to service in July, should quarantine measures be eased

Heathrow Airport has been empty in May compared to previous years, but airline companies are now planning a return to service in July, should quarantine measures be eased

Home Secretary Priti Patel’s quarantine plan, which from June 8 will require anyone entering the UK to self-isolate for two weeks, appeared to torpedo Britons’ hopes of a European summer holiday.

But there are rumblings the government could change its plan when the quarantine is reviewed on June 29.  

A senior industry source told The Telegraph: ‘The sense is that they might quietly do a U-turn after the first review period. Grant Shapps [Transport Secretary] is against quarantine, the Treasury are against it, Beis is against it and DCMS hate it.’

‘We can’t just stay in lockdown forever. We have got to transition,’ he said. 

Mr Raab played down fears that the curbs are being downgraded even though the government’s own coronavirus alert system level remains at four – which suggests they should stay in place.

And he stressed that ministers would not hesitate to reimpose restrictions in ‘localities’ or ‘settings’ if the number of cases begins to flare up again. 

But the Westminster government is facing a wave of opposition to the relaxation from scientists who say an increase in cases is ‘inevitable’, while Nicola Sturgeon has stressed she is being more ‘cautious’ and the virus can still ‘run out of control’. 

A series of experts have raised concern about the moved to ease the lockdown in England, which takes effect from tomorrow, with the UK still getting 8,000 new infections a day.

Up to six people from six different households will be permitted to meet up in public places or gardens, meaning exercise classes and barbecues are back on the agenda. 

Primary schools and nurseries have also been told they can start to reopen, while all non-essential shops can return from June 15. 

In Scotland and Wales the loosening is far less dramatic, with only two households allowed to meet up at a time and people told not to travel more than five miles from home. Schools north of the border will not be back until after holidays there in August.    

Asked whether the lockdown will be tightened again if infection rates increase, Mr Raab told Sky’s Ridge on Sunday: ‘We will target, if there is any uptick, and it could be in a locality, it could be in a particular setting, we will target very carefully measures that would apply to it so that we can take these steps but also keep control of the virus.’  

Families across England will finally be able to see their elderly relatives again tomorrow, as millions of vulnerable people ‘shielding’ are allowed to spend time outdoors.

As part of the easing of lockdown restrictions, 2.2million vulnerable people will be able to go outside with members of their household, while continuing to follow social distancing guidelines. Those who live alone will be able to meet outside with one other person from another household, in a move that will bring joy to thousands.

Boris Johnson today hailed the ‘resilience’ of those who have been shielding since March, with many having no face-to-face contact since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

Pictured: The air ambulance helicopter touches down  at Durdle Door on Saturday afternoon before the council today closed the beauty spot due to injuries

Pictured: The air ambulance helicopter touches down  at Durdle Door on Saturday afternoon before the council today closed the beauty spot due to injuries

Pictured: The air ambulance helicopter touches down  at Durdle Door on Saturday afternoon before the council today closed the beauty spot due to injuries 

Rowers are pictured on the River Thames near Maidenhead in Berkshire as temperatures soar in the south-east of England

Rowers are pictured on the River Thames near Maidenhead in Berkshire as temperatures soar in the south-east of England

Rowers are pictured on the River Thames near Maidenhead in Berkshire as temperatures soar in the south-east of England 

The Prime Minister said: ‘I want to thank everyone who has followed the shielding guidance – it is because of your patience and sacrifice that thousands of lives have been saved. 

‘I do not underestimate just how difficult it has been for you, staying at home for the last ten weeks, and I want to pay tribute to your resilience.’

Boris Johnson’s SISTER Rachel is accused of flouting lockdown 

Rachel Johnson has been accused of bending lockdown rules by staying at her second home in Notting Hill after finishing her presenting shift at LBC.

Boris Johnson‘s younger sister has previously said she is isolating at her home in Exmoor, Somerset, making only essential journeys to Leicester Square in London where she presents an evening show on the talk radio station.

According to The Mirror, instead of travelling four hours back to Somerset on Friday, Ms Johnson instead opted to stay at her second home in Notting Hill, where her two sons live.

Rachel Johnson was seen returning to her home in Notting Hill on Saturday, having stayed the night after a presenting shift on LBC on Friday

Rachel Johnson was seen returning to her home in Notting Hill on Saturday, having stayed the night after a presenting shift on LBC on Friday

Rachel Johnson was seen returning to her home in Notting Hill on Saturday, having stayed the night after a presenting shift on LBC on Friday

It is claimed she travelled back to the Exmoor farm, she shares with her husband and daughter, on Saturday morning by train. 

A Whitehall source told The Mirror: ‘It doesn’t look good for anyone,’ adding: ‘First his friend Dom and now his sister have been caught bending the rules, if not breaking them.’ 

The radio host’s spokesman told The Mirror Ms Johnson ‘sometimes stays over,’ after finishing her show at 7pm.

They added Ms Johnson has keyworker status as she is a broadcaster, saying she stays alert at all times while travelling between her job and her home. 

MailOnline has approached Ms Johnson’s for a full comment. 

 

Meanwhile, Nicola Sturgeon today accused England of under-reporting care home deaths as she swiped at Mr Johnson for easing lockdown too early.

The Scottish First Minister said the apparent higher proportion of victims in care homes north of the border was due to the way they are recorded.

She insisted that people who died of stroke and ‘happened’ to have coronavirus were counted in the numbers in Scotland – whereas they were not in England, meaning that there was ‘under-reporting’.

Asked on Sky News whether she thought that the PM was loosening the lockdown in England too quickly, Ms Sturgeon insisted she did not want to ‘criticise other politicians’ and they were all ‘trying to do the right things’.  

But she pointedly said that in Scotland they were being ‘very cautious’. ‘This virus has not gone away,’ she said. ‘That is why in Scotland we are moving very slowly.’ 

Prof Devi Sridhar, who has been advising the Scottish government, warned it looks ‘inevitable’ that cases will rise again in England. 

‘I’m very sorry to say that I think it is right now inevitable looking at the numbers,’ she told Sky.

‘The only thing that might in a sense save England is the good weather and warmth if this virus does indeed die outside quite quickly, but it’s incredibly worrying because the numbers are not low enough to have a testing and tracing system take over.’

‘If your objective is to contain the virus, to drive numbers down and to try to in a sense get rid of it so no-one is exposed to it, then it is not the right measure right now to open up,’ she said.

‘It’s a big risk and gamble for exiting lockdown with a larger number of deaths than we did when we actually entered lockdown months back.’

Prof Sridhar said there was now a clear divide between Government and some scientists, but added that ultimately decisions will be made by politicians.

She said: ‘I think what they should be saying is they consider the science, and hopefully they listen to it but the decision, and who actually has the accountability, are the politicians and leaders.’

Professor Peter Openshaw, who sits on the the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG) to the Government, said people must proceed with ‘great caution’ as the lockdown is eased.

He told the BBC’s Andrew Marr programme: ‘At the moment, we still have quite a large number of cases out there in the community and I think unlocking too fast carries a great risk that all the good work that’s been put in by everyone, to try to reduce transmission may be lost. So we do need to proceed with great, great care at this point.’

Asked if the Government is going too fast, he said: ‘I think there is a pretty unanimous message now that we need to take this slowly and go step by step. We need to evaluate the effect of each step before we move to the next one. 

UK announces official daily Covid-19 death toll of 113 – the lowest since lockdown – taking the official count to 38,489 

The UK has announced 113 more Covid-19 deaths today, the lowest since lockdown began, taking the official count to 38,489. 

Today the Department of Health reported the lowest figure in almost ten weeks – 74 people died on March 23, after which the crisis spiralled out of control.

However, the weekends always see a significant drop in deaths due to a lag in reporting.

Last Sunday health officials declared 118 deaths, which was a 30 per cent drop from the week before.

Today has not seen such a dramatic reduction from the week before. But deaths are still declining from the peak in mid-April when the worst day saw 1,172 people die.

Back-dated data from death certificates shows more than 46,000 people had been killed by the virus by May 15, 36 per cent more than the official toll given by the Department of Health (33,998) at that time. 

If the same mathematical sum was applied to today’s DH count of 38,489, it would suggest the true death toll currently is around the 51,000 mark. 

There have been 274,762 positive test results since the crisis began. But this is a tiny fraction of the millions who would have been infected and never got a test.

DH said that testing capacity reached the Prime Minister’s 200,000 target yesterday, after promises it would be met before June 1, despite only 115,700 tests being conducted.

It said it had reached its 200,000 goal because it had the ‘capacity’ to take 40,000 antibody tests of health workers every day, which detect if a person has already had the infection and recovered. 

The government was accused of ‘bending the rules’ to reach its initial coronavirus testing target of 100,000 per day by the end of April by including home testing kits that had been sent out, but not processed. 

Despite the Prime Minister saying the government’s five tests have been met and it is safe to start relaxing restrictions from tomorrow, the alert level remains at four.

There are still 54,000 new infections happening each week – down from 61,000 per week at the start of May – and 133,000 people are thought to currently have the virus, down from 137,000. This means one in 1,000 people are still catching it.

‘I don’t hear any great dissent amongst the amongst the advisers who are speaking in public at the moment.’

He said it will be around two or three weeks before the effects of the latest easing of restrictions is known.

He told the Marr show: ‘It’s going to be very patchy, it may be that actually easing lockdown is perfectly OK in areas like London which were hit early and hit hard, and where the epidemic seems to have been virtually passed in many parts of the community, with a few exception.

‘But up north it’s still a very large number of cases. I think we need to be more subtle about the geography and we need to look at the particular areas where it may be appropriate to ease lockdown.’

He added: ‘Maybe there needs to be a bit more subtlety to the way in which lockdown is eased.’ 

Prof Openshaw also said he believed advice on who needs to shield can be ‘fine tuned’ to prevent people being kept at home unnecessarily. 

‘I think we’re going to be able to fine-tune the advice now and actually reassure some people who we feared might be susceptible, that in fact they’re not as vulnerable as we thought. So that’s really good news,’ he said. 

Writing in The Sunday Telegraph, the government’s chief science officer Sir Patrick Vallance explained Sage was only there to advise politicians, who have the final say on what to do with evidence presented to them. 

He wrote: ‘Science advice to Cobr and to ministers needs to be direct and given without fear or favour. But it is advice. Ministers must decide and have to take many other factors into consideration.’

The chair of Sage explained the advisory board was not infallible, writing: ‘There is a range of opinions in all of discussions and there is wide reading of the latest research, but what Sage endeavours to do is come down to a position or a range of positions, to provide options ministers could consider and explain the uncertainties and assumptions inherent in that science and evidence.’ 

Unions today insisted summer holidays should not be cancelled because teachers have been working ‘flat out’ during lockdown.

Despite the loss of face-to-face lessons, Mary Bousted, general secretary of the National Education Union, said her members deserved the time off.

She said any headteachers looking to recuperate lessons, especially for those pupils going into GCSEs and A levels, should only offer voluntary clubs and activities during the school holidays.

In a broadside to government the trade union chief also slammed the government’s decision to re-open schools on June 1, saying if they had waited until June 15 the infection rate could have been halved. 

Speaking to Sophy Ridge on Sunday from south London, Bousted said: ‘No. The summer holiday shouldn’t be cancelled because teachers have been working flat out to provide education for children at home.

‘So what should happen is, and we do support this, to have clubs and activities on a volunteer basis for those children to meet together to socialise.

‘We don’t think the emphasis should be on catch up because many of those children will need to re-socialise, re-engage and re-engage with a love of learning and be involved in creative activities which enable them to become part of a wider society again and have the desire to learn again.’

Her words came as a fifth of teachers are expected to stay home on Monday when Reception, Year One and Year Six pupils sit behind their desks again. The figure was revealed by a TES survey of 5,000 school leaders. 

They may be off because they suffer from health conditions including asthma and diabetes, live with a vulnerable family member or because they are at heightened risk due to their age.

They also found eleven out of the country’s 20 worst performing councils on tests have told head teachers to keep the gates bolted.

The government plans to get Reception, Year One and Year Six pupils back to school on Monday, with an ambition to then get Year 10 and 12 back in lessons on June 15.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have all pushed back their school start dates.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson sought to calm concerned parents today, writing in the Sun on Sunday that pupils will not be allowed to gather in groups larger than 15. He also assured parents it would be safe, saying ‘strict safety measures’ have been put in place to protect children.