Coronavirus: The 14 major developments that happened on Wednesday

Here’s what you need to know on 27 May. This article was updated at 5.30pm.

Deaths: The number of people who have died across England, Scotland and Wales after contracting coronavirus has risen by 412 in 24 hours. Read more here.

Testing: Anyone with coronavirus symptoms should report themselves to test-and-trace officials from Thursday as the government rolls out its tracking programme. Friends, family and colleagues who have been in close contact with the person will have to go into isolation for 14 days even if they don’t have symptoms. Boris Johnson, the prime minister, admitted Public Health England didn’t have the capacity to roll out the programme earlier. Read more here.

A health regulator has told private companies to stop offering finger-prick coronavirus antibody tests due to their unreliability. The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency on Wednesday called for a temporary halt to the tests, which look for evidence of infection two or more weeks previously, while “patient safety issues” are resolved. Read more here.

Furlough: A third of the British workforce is on furlough, and it’s costing the Treasury £22bn. The scheme allows companies to claim 80% of employees’ wages to help them keep going during the pandemic. Read more here.

Business leaders are warning that the self-employed face a “total income cliff-edge”, with just a few days until a government support scheme is due to expire. Mike Cherry, national chairman of the Federal of Small Businesses, warned that hairdressers, personal trainers, caterers, B&B owners and others could not return to work for many more weeks. Read more here.

Policy: It is “difficult to say” whether the government’s ambition to bring back all primary school children to school before the summer holidays will come to fruition, an education minister has said. Schools standards minister Nick Gibb did not confirm that the government’s proposal had been given the green light, but suggested that rotas could be used if there is wider reopening. Read more here.

Cancer, asthma and liver disease patients have been axed from the government’s shielding list via a text message, before their doctors were able to speak to them. People who got the texts on Friday thought they were fake initially, but the confirmation they are true has caused upset. Read more here.

Politics: The row over Dominic Cummings’ trip to Durham continues as the PM faces pressure to sack his chief adviser. One Conservative MP said keeping him on was the only way to get Brexit done, while dozens have called for him to go. Boris Johnson called it a “political ding-dong” and said people were not interested. Read more here.

Science: There’s no evidence that quarantining clothes after they have been tried on or touched by shoppers as stores reopen will stop the spread of coronavirus. Instead, regular and thorough hand-washing will need to become a habitual part of shopping on the high street to prevent transmission, said Bill Keevil, professor of environmental healthcare at the University of Southampton. Read more here.

Sport: Hope builds for the return of football in the UK as the Premier League voted to return to contact training. Players will now be asked to train as a group, with the move allowing them to tackle each other again "while minimising any unnecessary close contact". Read more here.

Read more about COVID-19

How to get a coronavirus test if you have symptoms

What you can and can’t do under lockdown rules

In pictures: How UK school classrooms could look in new normal

How public transport could look after lockdown

How our public spaces will change in the future

Rest of the world

The World Health Organization (WHO) says the Americas are the new epicentre of COVID-19 after a rise in cases in Peru, Chile, Guatemala and other countries. Read more here.

France has banned hydroxychloroquine, a controversial and potentially harmful drug that Donald Trump, the US president, has said he was taking preventatively to ward off COVID-19. It comes after WHO paused a trial of the drug due to safety concerns. Read more here.

Positive news

A dad who was given a 1% chance of survival has recovered from coronavirus after spending 50 days on a ventilator. Steve Banks, 44, was left in intensive care for a month and a half after being struck down by the killer virus. Read more here.

New Zealand has reached a milestone after the last COVID-19 patient in hospital was discharged. The country has recorded just one single new case in the past week, with 21 people having died of the disease since the pandemic began. Read more here.

Coronavirus: what happened today

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