The coronavirus pandemic continues to cause chaos across the UK and around the world. Here’s your morning briefing of everything you may have missed overnight.
Ministers fear the coronavirus lockdown could be ignored by thousands of Brits this weekend as they seek to make the most of the forecasted sunshine.
Such are the concerns that the glorious weather will attract crowds to parks, beauty spots and beaches that Boris Johnson made a personal plea for people not to flout Covid-19 rules on Friday.
“There maybe just a temptation to get out there, hang out and start to break the regulations,” he said. “I just urge you not to do that. Please, please stick with the guidance now.”
Matt Hancock followed the plea by reiterating that staying at home was an instruction and “not a request”.
Boris Johnson’s key adviser on the coronavirus pandemic has urged the prime minister to find a way of ending the nationwide lockdown, according to reports.
Graham Medley, an expert in the spread of infectious diseases, suggested the government had “painted itself into a corner” by imposing widespread restrictions on movement that he claims may cause more damage than the epidemic itself.
He said restrictions would lead to “actual harms in terms of mental health, in terms of domestic violence and child abuse, and in terms of food poverty”.
And, in the interview with The Times, he suggested that the eventual economic damage of the restrictions could lead to even more long-term health problems and deaths.
New Nightingale Hospital may not be needed as urgently as thought
The new 4,000-bed Nightingale Hospital built in London’s ExCel Centre may not take patients as early as initially planned after it emerged existing intensive care facilities in the capital are coping better with the coronavirus than predicted.
Initial models suggested the emergency centre – officially opened on Friday – would start taking people immediately.
But it will now be early next week before the first patients arrive.
An NHS spokesperson said: “Nightingale London is ready to accept patients from today, but London is currently coping with demand. We obviously can’t predict when it will be needed but it’s there if and when it is.”
The monarch will address the coronavirus crisis in a special televised broadcast to the country and Commonwealth on Sunday evening, Buckingham Palace has announced.
Questions had been growing about if the head of state would make a public statement about the unprecedented events caused by the pandemic.
Now, officials have revealed the Queen has already recorded a special message at Windsor Castle, where she and her husband Prince Philip have been since 19 March.
It will be aired at 8pm on Sunday.
Increasing numbers of younger people are falling seriously ill or being killed by coronavirus, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned.
Officials said they were trying to “better understand” why apparently healthy patients aged under 60 ended up in intensive care with the disease.
“Overall, most of the people who are experiencing severe disease and ending up in intensive care units are people of older age, and are people who have underlying conditions,” said Dr Maria Van Kerkhove. “But what we are seeing in some countries, individuals who are in their 30s, 40s and 50s who are in ICUs and have died. We are seeing more and more younger individuals who are experiencing severe disease.”
New health guidelines issued in the US are urging people to wear face masks to prevent the spread of Covid-19 – but Donald Trump has said he will not be following the advice.
The president said he would not want to greet "presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens" in the Oval Office while wearing one.
"You do not have to do it," he said of the official advice. "I don't think I'm going to be doing it."
The guidelines were issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the government's public health advisory agency, and came as the US reported nearly 7,000 had died from the coronavirus.