Here’s what you need to know on 12 June. This article was updated at 5.30pm.
Deaths: There were 202 coronavirus deaths in the UK in the 24 hours up to 5pm on Thursday. It brings the total to 41,481. Read more here.
The North East reported the highest coronavirus death rate in England in May, new data shows. Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show the death rate in the most deprived areas of England has been more than double that in the least deprived areas. Read more here.
Politics: Boris Johnson is facing renewed questions over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic after Labour used a new report to claim the sector was an “afterthought”. Whitehall’s spending watchdog said 25,000 hospital patients were discharged into care homes in England at the height of the pandemic without being tested for COVID-19. Read more here.
England's chief nurse was dropped from one of Downing Street's daily coronavirus briefings after refusing to publicly back Dominic Cummings, senior sources have told The Independent. Ruth May was due to appear alongside Matt Hancock but failed to back the aide during practice questions, according to NHS sources. Read more here.
Virus spread: The coronavirus “R number” has risen above one in parts of England, the government has confirmed, meaning the COVID-19 outbreak is growing in said area. The overall R rate across the UK remains between 0.7 and 0.9, while across England it is 0.8-1.0, according to the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage). Sage published regional values for R in England for the first time, showing that the South West has an R rate of 0.8-1.1. Read more here.
Finance: The UK economy shrank by 20.4% in April, the steepest contraction on record, as the country’s businesses reckoned with far-reaching coronavirus lockdown measures. The month-on-month decline in gross domestic product (GDP) completely eclipses the previous record contraction of 5.8%, which was seen just a month earlier in March, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Read more here.
Business: Apple stores have announced plans to reopen in England in line with the government guidance on 15 June. A statement said the stores will “have significant safety procedures including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings to ensure customers and employees continue to stay healthy”. Read more here.
Travel: Holidaymakers are trying to find spots with low coronavirus rates according to research carried out for Telegraph Travel. Flight searches to European countries on Skyscanner soared, with Slovenia, which declared itself coronavirus-free in May, subjected to the greatest increase. Read more here.
Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, has announced a “jet zero council”, to aid an environmentally-friendly recovery for the aviation industry. Speaking in the daily briefing, he said: There’s a real determination within the industry to have a greener restart so we’re bringing together leaders from aviation, environmental groups and Government to form the jet zero council. This group will be charged with making net-zero emissions possible for future flights. Our goal within a generation will be to demonstrate flight across the Atlantic without harming the environment.”
Sport: The Formula One grands prix in Japan, Singapore and Azerbaijan have been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Australian and Monaco Grands Prix were scrapped earlier this year and the next three were not able to be saved. Read more here.
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Rest of the world
India’s number of coronavirus cases has soared by more than 10,000 in one day, making it the country with the fourth largest number of cases in the world. The country’s latest single-day spike of 10,956 saw India overtake the UK in its number of cases. Read more here.
Brazilians have dug fake graves to protest the country’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak, as 40,000 have died. Protesters said they are demanding a change in the president’s attitude. Read more here.
Donald Trump supporters who want to attend his next rally have to sign a waiver “acknowledging that an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present”. Those who go will have to promise not to hold Trump “BOK Center; ASM Global; or any of their affiliates, directors, officers, employees, agents, contractors, or volunteers liable for any illness or injury”. Read more here.
An average of 33,000 people in England had coronavirus at any give time between 25 May and 7 June, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has estimated. Between those two dates, 0.06% of people in the community – outside hospitals and care homes – are thought to have had the virus in the country. The data shows the trend of infections appears to be declining despite some significant easing of the lockdown for England. Read more here.
Battersea Dogs and Cats Home is still managing to rehome pets during lockdown by conducting virtual interviews for new owners. Read more here.