CORONAVIRUS deaths in the UK have surpassed 40,000 after 357 more died in the last 24 hours.
The Department of Health confirmed 40,261 have now passed away across all settings in the UK, including care homes, hospitals and the wider community.
This comes as Matt Hancock urged Brits not to take part in protests this weekend.
The health secretary said only groups of up to six people can meet outdoors while observing social distancing of two metres.
On Wednesday, thousands of people took part in a protest in London's Hyde Park after the death of George Floyd in the US.
And there could be further demonstrations this weekend.
Speaking at today's daily press briefing, Mr Hancock said: "Like so many I am appalled by the death of George Floyd and I understand why people are deeply upset but we are still facing a health crisis and coronavirus remains a real threat.
"The reason that it is vital that people stick to the rules this weekend is to protect themselves and their family from this horrific disease."So please for the safety of your loved ones do not attend large gatherings including demonstrations of more than six people."
Follow out live blog below for all the latest news and updates.
OFFICIALS TO 'TACKLE INEQUALITY' IN VIRUS FIGHT
Government officials say they're going to tackle any inequality that could be contributing to a higher rate of coronavirus deaths among people from a black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) background.
At the daily Downing Street briefing on Friday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock was asked if authorities were looking into why such groups are more at risk and what was being done to mitigate it.
Mr Hancock says officials are probing the crisis, including looking at “socio-economic factors”.
“Questions around deprivation, quality of housing are important as well, because we know that those living in lower quality housing find it more difficult to escape from a contagious virus like this,” he added.
“All the way along if we find things that we can do to help reduce inequalities then we'll just get on and do them.”
LOVE ISLAND STAR BREAKS LOCKDOWN… AGAIN
Dani Dyer has been caught breaking the coronavirus lockdown rules for a second time after attending a party with 14 other people.
The Love Island star, 24, was filmed with a large group of both male and female pals as they celebrated a friend's birthday.
Here's the full story.
ITALY SEES INFECTION SPIKE
Lombardy, one of Italy's worst-affected regions, has seen a spike in infections.
The number of new confirmed coronavirus cases in Italy as a whole jumped from 177 on Thursday to 518 on Friday, with 402 recorded in Lombardy.
The total number of cases in Italy has now increased to 234,531, the sixth highest tally behind those of the United States, Russia, Spain, Britain and Brazil.
The death toll now stands at 33,774.
PEOPLE WITH CYSTIC FIBROSIS CAN BE MONITORED FROM HOME
Medics will be able to monitor the condition of thousands of cystic fibrosis patients remotely under “landmark” plans to introduce a new smartphone app.
Around 4,000 people in England with the respiratory disease – considered among the most at risk of contracting coronavirus – will be able to upload data about the condition from their own homes.
They'll do this by using a bluetooth-enabled spirometer to measure lung capacity.
Information will be fed to doctors monitoring their condition, without the need to attend hospital appointments.
'MAKE FACE COVERINGS COMPULSORY NOW'
Good Morning Britain's Dr Hilary Jones has today blasted the government after it announced face masks would be mandatory for everyone using public transport from June 15.
Dr Hilary said the coverings should be made compulsory now if the country is to stop a second wave of the coronavirus.
Here's the full story.
PRITI PATEL CALLS FOR PROTESTERS TO KEEP AWAY
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has this evening called for people not to attend Black Lives Matter protests in London because of the lockdown.
Now Home Secretary Priti Patel has tweeted: “Please for the safety of all of us, do not attend large gatherings – including protests – of more than six people this weekend.
“As (Matt Hancock) said, coronavirus remains a real threat and people must protect themselves and their families from this horrific disease.”
While the UK remains one of the countries hardest-hit by coronavirus, some holiday destinations have managed to nearly avoid the crisis altogether.
Here's the full story on the countries where fewer cases have been reported.
46,000 BRITS DIE DURING CRISIS – BUT 30 PER CENT WEREN'T CAUSED BY VIRUS
The coronavirus crisis has killed 46,000 extra people – but 30 per cent of those deaths didn't involve the deadly virus, new figures have revealed.
The Office for National Statistics said 12,900 of the 46,380 “excess” deaths registered between March 7 and May 1 in England and Wales were due to other causes.
Here's the full story – and a graph showing those frightening stats.
ONE IN TEN CARE HOMES 'HASN'T RECEIVED TEST KITS'
More than a tenth of care homes surveyed by a leading care provider membership body had not received coronavirus testing kits at the start of the week, it has emerged.
The National Care Forum (NCF), which represents 120 not-for-profit care organisations, said 87 per cent of care homes it received responses on had received home testing kits as of June 2.
But despite the high proportion receiving the kits, the NCF said there were still “significant challenges”, with 43 per cent of the care homes receiving void and inconclusive results and 12 per cent still waiting for them.
AMERICAN UNEMPLOYMENT RATES DROP
U.S. unemployment dropped unexpectedly in May to 13.3 per cent as reopened businesses began recalling millions of workers faster than economists had predicted.
The jobless rate is still on par with those seen during the Great Depression.
But after weeks of dire predictions by economists that unemployment in May could hit 20 per cent or more, the news that the economy added a surprising 2.5 million jobs last month is evidence that the employment collapse most likely bottomed out in April, when the rate reached 14.7 per cent.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN MASK
Brits are being advised to wear face coverings in lots of different circumstances in public.
From June 15, wearing a covering on public transport and on visits to hospitals will be mandatory.
Here's how to make your own mask.
If you're going, ours is a quarter-pounder with cheese…
McDonald's is adding home delivery as an option to another 500 restaurants next week.
It comes after the fast food chain reopened 934 restaurants for drive-thru, delivery or both across the UK over the last few days.
Here's the full story.
CUMBRIA HEALTH BOSS SAYS 'DON'T BE COMPLACENT'
The director of public health in Cumbria has warned people not to be “complacent” after new data suggested the reproductive rate of coronavirus is now around one in the North West.
Colin Cox warned a tightening of restrictions in the area could be possible if the R value, which is the number of people an infected person passes the virus onto, increases.
The value used by the Government remained between 0.7 and 0.9 for the UK as a whole, though the figure has a two to three-week lag, meaning it does not account for the latest easing of the lockdown.
A separate report from Public Health England (PHE) and Cambridge University, which estimates what the value is currently, put the North West on 1.01 and the South West on 1.00.
Mr Cox said: “For the north west, the median R number is marginally above 1, showing the epidemic could potentially still be growing.
“This really underlines the importance of people maintaining social distancing and continuing to follow Government guidance.”
WUHAN 'CLEARS ALL SYMPTOMATIC CASES'
Wuhan has cleared all hospital cases of Covid-19 where patients have exhibited symptoms.
State newspaper Global Times said “the last three Covid-19 patients in Wuhan have recovered and been discharged from hospital” – a development that has been met on Chinese social media with mass praise.
At its peak, there were more than 50,000 confirmed cases in the city, the original epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak.
'TRUMP-BACKED CURE' TRIALS HALTED
A major study into an anti-malarial drug hailed by President Donald Trump has been halted after researchers found it to be ineffective against the coronavirus.
The Recovery trials led by the University of Oxford had been looking at potential Covid-19 treatments which included the use of hydroxychloroquine.
After reviewing data yesterday, the chief researcher has now put an immediate stop to the testing of the drug in hospital patients.
Here's the full story.
RENTERS CAN'T BE EVICTED FOR ANOTHER TWO MONTHS
The ban on renters being evicted during the coronavirus pandemic has been extended for two months, the Housing Secretary has said.
Robert Jenrick promised that “no-one will be evicted from their home this summer” as he announced evictions from private and social accommodation will not take place before August 23.
It takes the moratorium on evictions to a total of five months.
NEW COVID INFECTIONS DROP
The number of people with Covid-19 in England has fallen to around 5,600 new infections a day from around 8,000 reported last week, figures show.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) published data on how many people at any one time are infected with Covid-19 based on swab results from households across the country.
The ONS said “modelling of the trend over time shows evidence that the number of people in England testing positive has decreased in recent weeks”.
HAIR SALONS TO OPEN ON JUNE 15 – BUT NO HAIR CUTS UNTIL JULY
Hairdessers can open up salons on June 15 for customers to pick up click and collect orders.
However, they won't be able to offer treatments or services – and customers won't be allowed inside.
It's unlikely that people will be able to get their hair cut until at least July 4.
Here's the full story.
FEMALE PRISONERS ARE STRUGGLING WITH LOCKDOWN
Self-harm has increased among women prisoners during the coronavirus pandemic and some are being released without anywhere to go, inspectors have said.
Inspectors said they were troubled by the impact of new restrictions at three women's prisons – Bronzefield, Eastwood Park and Foston Hall.
The restrictions were aimed at helping to control the spread of the virus but the inspectors were concerned about the suspension of specialist support for some of the most vulnerable women.
Peter Clarke, the Chief Inspector of Prisons, said: “We found that self-harm had increased from the high levels seen prior to the restrictions being implemented.”
An inspectors' report noted: “Despite the work of staff, the very restricted regime meant prisoners at risk of self-harm felt isolated from others and craved more human contact.”
WHO RECOMMENDS MASKS IN PUBLIC
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says it's now “advising governments” to encourage people to wear fabric face masks in public.
The WHO had previously said there was not enough evidence to support the use of masks by healthy people in public.
It had said that medical masks should be worn by those who were sick, as well as those caring for them.
“We have evidence now that if this is done properly it can provide a barrier for potentially infectious droplets,” Dr Maria van Kerkhove told Reuters in an interview.
“And we specify a fabric mask – that is, a non-medical mask.”
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'VIRUS MAKES BLM PROTESTS UNLAWFUL'
Some of the most important stories of the week have been about the Black Lives Matter rallies in London.
And this morning, Met Police's deputy assistant commissioner Laurence Taylor warned future mass gatherings protesting the death of George Floyd would be “unlawful”.
That's because of the current coronavirus restrictions in place.
He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: “The health protection regulations are really clear that it is unlawful.
“The Government said that for health reasons people should not be meeting in groups of six, so we would strongly encourage people not to come out and gather in these large numbers because they are putting themselves and others at risk.”
He said anyone who gathers in large groups is “potentially risking their health and also risking taking the virus back to their families”.
VIRUS 'PEAKED DAYS BEFORE LOCKDOWN STARTED'
Coronavirus infections peaked “days before lockdown started” suggesting that strict isolation measures were not the reason for a decline in cases and deaths.
A new study from the University of Bristol found that the majority of people who died during the peak of the virus would have been infected around five days before lockdown measures were introduced.
Here's the full report.
TEENS HELD ON SUSPICION OF 'RIGHT-WING TERRORISM'
Some non-Covid news tonight ahead of the planned Black Lives Matter protests this weekend.
Two teenagers have been arrested on suspicion of right-wing terrorism offences.
A 16-year-old boy and an 18-year-old man were held at separate addresses in north-west London at around 5.10am on Friday.
Scotland Yard said both were arrested under section 41 of the Terrorism Act 2000, which gives officers the power to arrest people suspected of terrorism-related offences without a warrant.
The teenagers are being held in custody at a south London police station and the addresses are being searched.
HANCOCK DONATES PLASMA TO PATIENTS IN HOSPITAL
Health Secretary Matt Hancock revealed during the daily conference that he had donated blood plasma with antibodies for coronavirus.
That's because the UK is currently conducting clinical trials into plasma.
It's being used to treat hospital patients who are currently ill with the disease.
NHS Blood and Transplant is asking people who have recovered from the deadly virus to donate their blood so they can assess its effectiveness in trials.
There are currently 40,000 antibody tests being carried out every day.
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