Coronavirus: The 13 major developments that happened on Friday

Rebecca C. Taylor
·3-min read

Here’s what you need to know on 26 June. This article was updated at 3.50pm.

Deaths: The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said 43,414 people had died in hospitals, care homes and the wider community after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK as of 5pm on Thursday, up by 186 from the day before. Read more here.

Policy: The government has threatened to close beaches and other public areas if people ignore social distancing measures after thousands flocked to the coast on the hottest day of the year. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the government has the power to close public areas if people flout coronavirus restrictions. Read more here.

A public health expert says it would “be too late” to reimpose lockdown if there was a spike in coronavirus cases, after the government said it could close down public spaces if restrictions are continually flouted. Devi Sridhar - a professor of global health at Edinburgh University - criticised the response, saying it would be “very hard” to reverse a second COVID-19 spike without “drastic lockdown”. Read more here.

About 140 police officers have been injured in London in the last three weeks, the Metropolitan Police commissioner has revealed. Cressida Dick said the aggression shown to officers at recent illegal street parties in the capital has been "utterly unacceptable". Read more here.

Scotland: Nicola Sturgeon visited a shop in Edinburgh as she said the country is not far from eliminating coronavirus. Scotland recorded no deaths yesterday. Read more here.

Test and trace: Some Brits are ‘reluctant’ to cooperate with NHS contact tracers, making it hard to identify people with coronavirus and their contacts, an expert has warned. Dr David Nabarro, special envoy for the director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO) for the COVID-19 pandemic, told Radio 4’s Today programme that some British people are reluctant to open up about their contacts, feeling it is an intrusion. Read more here.

Health officials want volunteers to help establish whether COVID-19 antibody tests are “game-changers” or not. Public Health England (PHE), the Department of Health (DHSC) and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) are seeking 2,500 volunteers from among NHS staff and other key workers to trial out a finger-prick home testing kit. Read more here.

Finance: Shopping centre owner Intu has collapse after last-ditch talks with its creditors failed. The company was struggling under a £5bn debt pile even before the COVID-19 crisis hit but the pandemic has worsened problems. Read more here.

H&M is due to close stores after suffering losses during the coronavirus pandemic. The company lost nearly $700m. Read more here.

Rishi Sunak said he would set an "extraordinarily high" for bailing out individual companies that are struggling as a result of the coronavirus crisis. The government has already underwritten £40 billion in loans to businesses, and given £11 billion in support for wages. 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

Troops are expected to arrive in Victoria, in Australia today after the state recorded its highest 24-hour tally of infections in two months. The state will use the military to help with quarantine efforts. Read more here.

Positive news

A third of Britons have enjoyed the coronavirus lockdown according to new research. Adults aged 30-59 and with higher incomes are among those who tended to say they had enjoyed the time of restricted movement. Read more here.

Hotels in Cornwall are preparing to reopen as Boris Johnson confirmed an easing of restrictions from 4 July. Ideas include serving guests breakfast in beach huts - and bowing and curtsying instead of shaking hands. Read more here.

Coronavirus: what happened today

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