Coronavirus news – live: Matt Hancock says UK is ‘winning the battle against virus’ despite concerns over test and trace system

Chiara Giordano, Andy Gregory
PA

Matt Hancock has insisted the nation is “winning the battle” against coronavirus, but urged the public to “take [their] responsibilities seriously” in getting tested and self-isolating, as employees of the new test and trace scheme raised concerns it was not yet functional enough to merit lifting lockdown measures.

It came as restrictions were eased in England to allow groups of six to meet outside, with two million people classed as clinically vulnerable permitted to venture outdoors for the first time in 10 weeks, largely only with members of their own household.​

Children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 also returned to primary schools across England as the government and education unions continue to fight over whether it is safe to do so, while public health officials warned restrictions are being lifted too quickly and that the move risks a second wave of Covid-19 infections.