Coronavirus: Evening update as the UK's infection rate creeps up

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Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus outbreak this Friday evening. We'll have another update on Saturday morning.

1. Coronavirus infection rate in UK creeps up

The UK's coronavirus infection rate has increased and is close to the point where the virus starts spreading rapidly, government scientific advice says. The R-number needs to be kept below one to stay in control of cases, but it now sits between 0.7 and 1.0. It had been between 0.5 and 0.9. The new figures do not factor in changes to the lockdown in England announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Sunday.

2. Testing for all care home residents and staff

Health Secretary Matt Hancock, giving the daily Downing Street briefing, has said all care home residents and staff with and without symptoms will be tested for coronavirus by June. He said there has been a "huge need to protect people in care homes" and added that the UK government has worked to do this "right from the start". This is something the government has been criticised for, as the epidemic in care homes continues.

Image source, Reuters

3. Doctors say it's too soon to reopen schools

Doctors have backed teachers' unions by saying coronavirus infection rates are too high for England's schools to reopen. The British Medical Association said teachers and heads were "absolutely right" to urge caution and prioritise testing to avoid a second spike. It comes after teachers' unions met the government's scientific and medical advisers to seek answers to their safety concerns.

Media caption,

How Denmark reopened its primary schools

4. Police issue 14,000 fines for lockdown breaches

Police in England and Wales have issued more than 14,000 fines for alleged breaches of lockdown laws. The figures, from 27 March to 11 May, show that the most fixed penalty notices - 906 - were handed out in London. A total of 56 people were wrongly charged with offences relating to the pandemic. It came as a plan to ease restrictions on daily life in Wales was unveiled by the first minister.

Image source, Getty Images

5. Animal trial offers hope for coronavirus vaccine

A vaccine against coronavirus appears to have provided protection against the disease Covid-19 in six monkeys. It gives early hope for the vaccine, which is now undergoing human clinical trials. There is no guarantee this result will translate to people, though.

Media caption,

Coronavirus vaccine: How close are you to getting one?

And don't forget...

You can find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.

Image source, BBC

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