LiveCoronavirus in UK live blog: latest as care home residents and staff with symptoms will be tested and Trump freezes WHO funding

Follow the latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak in our live blog below

Wednesday, 15th April 2020, 7:57 am
Updated Wednesday, 15th April 2020, 1:07 pm

We will be providing live updates until 6pm this evening.

Uber driver Yasar Gorur wears personal protective equipment while cleaning his vehicle (Photo: Hollie Adams/Getty Images)
Uber driver Yasar Gorur wears personal protective equipment while cleaning his vehicle (Photo: Hollie Adams/Getty Images)

Coronavirus live blog, April 15

Last updated: Wednesday, 15 April, 2020, 17:55

That concludes today's daily briefing and today's live blog.

Professor Chris Whitty has said he is unsure of the impact of lockdown on domestic abuse.

He says you have to consider mental and physical impact.

A Cobra meeting will take place tomorrow to make a decision on lockdown measures.

Professor Angela McLean has indicated that lockdown will be lifted across the UK at the same time. 

Hancock has said the policy change for care home residents comes into force today. 

The Health Secretary says the decision to admit someone into hospital must be a clinical decision based on the individual rather than a blanket rule for a demographic. 

Professor Chris Whitty says that hospital stays should be kept as short as possible particularly for the elderly. 

Matt Hancock says that the government haven't neglected social care when accused of being late to lend help. 

He says guidance was first issued in February and was merely updated today. 

He reiterates that the disease has a disproportionate impact on the elderly.

ITV's Robert Peston has asked why the government doesn't trust people to remain under lockdown if the government reveals details of an exit strategy. 

Hancock says they want to keep the message straightforward. 

Professor Chris Whitty says we're probably reaching the peak. He says he predicts an increase in deaths on Thursday and Friday. 

He adds we can't yet be confident that we're past the peak. 

He says the point of transmission (r) is probably between 0.5 and 1.

On  his vow to carry out 100,000 tests a day by the end of the month, he says there has been less tests carried out because there hasn't been demand. 

Deputy chief scientific adviser Professor Angel Mclean is speaking now. 

She underlines that transport use remains down. 

She says there has been two weeks of the cases curve flattening. 

On deaths she says that the UK's trajectory is still climbing, but this is expected.

The Health Secretary is now talking about social care. 

He says the government's plan is to strengthen rules so that care home residents who have been hospitalised are tested for Covid-19 before returning to their care home. 

He says that over the next three weeks PPE will continue to be dropped at care homes. 

He says that he wants to enhance support for social care workers - a badge is to be assigned to social carers so that they can identify themselves as such. This will allow them to be treated in the same manner as NHS staff at supermarkets and the like. 

He adds he wants to "give people the right to say goodbye".  An emotional Hancock says he is introducing new procedures which will limit the spread of the disease but allow family members to say goodbye to loved ones.

Matt Hancock is speaking now. 

He pays tribute to Captain Tom Moore who has raised £7m for NHS charities. 

He says the capacity of the NHS continues to grow. 

Every person who has accessed NHS care has been able to get the very best available. He said that was thought impossible by some at the beginning of the pandemic.

He says lockdown measures won't be lifted until it's safe to do so. 

Cut-off date for Job Retention Scheme extended

The Treasury has extended the cut-off date for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

New guidance published by the department states that employers can now claim for furloughed employees who were employed and on their PAYE payroll on or before March 19 - the day before the scheme was announced.

Paymaster General Penny Mordaunt said she was "sorry it was not done sooner".

She tweeted: "This will help more people and is very welcome. Sorry it was not done sooner and know how worried people will have been.

"Hope to have an update on other Treasury matters soon."

Petrol and diesel prices continue to decline

Petrol prices have dipped to their lowest level in nearly four years, new figures show.

The average cost of petrol at UK forecourts is £1.09 per litre, according to Government data.It has not been that cheap since May 2016.

Some retailers are pricing their petrol at less than £1 per litre.

The falls in price are partly down to a drop in demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic

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