Coronavirus in UK live blog: latest as talk of UK lockdown restrictions being lifted continues

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

Monday, 4th May 2020, 7:54 am
Updated Monday, 4th May 2020, 10:12 am

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

A woman wears a face shield, mask and gloves as she shops at Blackheath Farmers Market in London (Photo: Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)

Coronavirus live blog, May 4

Last updated: Monday, 04 May, 2020, 07:52

London Nightingale to be placed on 'standby'

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said the NHS Nightingale hospital at London's ExCel centre would be placed "on standby" due to limited demand for its services.

The spokesman said: "It's not likely that in the coming days we will need to be admitting patients to the London Nightingale while coronavirus in the capital remains under control.

"That's obviously a very positive thing and we remain grateful to everybody in London for following the Government's advice in helping to protect the NHS.

"What the Nightingale will be is effectively placed on standby so it would be ready to receive patients should that be required, but we are not anticipating that will be the case."

Downing Street: still capacity to carry out 100,000 tests a day

Downing Street said there was still capacity to carry out over 100,000 coronavirus tests a day, even though the latest figures showed just 76,496 tests were carried out in the 24 hours to 9am on Sunday.

The figure meant "we can now give a test to anyone who needs one" and the enhanced capacity would be important as part of the "test, track and trace" programme in the next phase of the response to coronavirus.

"There is often a fall over the course of the weekend. The key fact is that total capacity across all streams was 108,024 on May 2, so the capacity was there to provide more than 100,000 tests," the Prime Minister's official spokesman said.

Test, trace, isolate announcement in Scotland

Love Island cancelled

The upcoming series of Love Island has been postponed to next year because of coronavirus.

The summer series of the ITV 2 dating show, which would have seen young single people couple up in a villa in Majorca, usually airs in the UK in June.

Kevin Lygo, director of television at ITV, said: "We have tried every which way to make Love Island this summer, but logistically it's just not possible to produce it in a way that safeguards the wellbeing of everyone involved - and that for us is the priority.

"In normal circumstances, we would be preparing very soon to travel out to the location in Majorca to get the villa ready, but clearly that's now out of the question.

"We are very sorry for fans of the show, but making it safely is our prime concern and Love Island will be back stronger than ever in 2021."

Boris Johnson has warned that lifting lockdown restrictions too soon would be "the worst thing we could do".

In a video message on Twitter, the Prime Minister said it was important to meet the five tests set by the Government before easing the lockdown.

"We will only be able to move onto the second phase of this conflict if our five tests have been met," he said.

Bounce Back Loans now available

Meanwhile, in the USA

'Nothing magical' about two-metre rule

Sage member and director of research charity Wellcome Trust Sir Jeremy Farrar said there is "nothing magical" about the two metre rule, saying time in close contact is also key.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "It's based on old data about how far when we cough and we sneeze that the droplets and the aerosols that may come from that spread.

"There's nothing magical about two metres. Perhaps more importantly is the time you spend in contact with somebody else. Not just the distance but also the time."

Defence Secretary: 'the public aren't stupid'

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has been speaking to Sky News this morning.

When asked about public hesitancy to return to work when the lockdown is eased after weeks of strict stay-at-home messaging, Wallace said the public "aren't stupid".

"They read advice, they listen to the media.

"They took on board the Government's advice... and I think they will be perfectly able to read the Government's next stage when we get to it.

"I'm totally confident when it comes to the next step we will all together be able to move forward."

Labour: public 'deserve to be levelled with' over easing of lockdown measures

Shadow Cabinet Office minister Rachel Reeves has said the public "deserve to be levelled with" over plans for easing lockdown measures.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast, the Labour minister said: “We've been urging Government to publish a plan because businesses and other organisations need time to plan and to prepare.”

She added: "I think the public - who have overwhelmingly stuck by these very tough lockdown rules over the last few weeks - deserve to be levelled with, and also want some hope for the future. So that's why we're urging the Government to give much more detail."

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