Another 21 people have died after testing positive for coronavirus, the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) has announced.
A total of 44,819 people have died in the UK across all settings, including hospitals, care homes and the wider community. As of 9am Sunday, 289,603 people have been diagnosed with Covid-19 across the country since the start of the pandemic, with 650 new cases confirmed in the past 24 hours.
Across hospitals in England, 15 people have died. There have been no new deaths in Wales, and Northern Ireland. Scotland also recorded none for the fourth day running but its number of new cases has climbed to a three-week high of 19, with Nicola Sturgeon saying the increase is being ‘looked at very closely’.
The latest figures come after around 200 workers at a farm in Herefordshire were quarantined following an outbreak of Covid-19. Some 73 positive cases of the virus have been confirmed at vegetable producer AS Green and Co, in the village of Mathon, near Worcester.
A joint statement from Public Health England (PHE) Midlands and Herefordshire Council said employees were being asked to remain on the farm during the period of isolation.
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he government has swapped its work from home message and is now encouraging the public to go back to work if possible.
Boris Johnson said: ‘I think everybody has sort of taken the “stay at home if you can” – I think we should now say, well, “go back to work if you can”. Because I think it’s very important that people should try to lead their lives more normally.’
Restrictions on public transport are also set to be eased in the hopes of getting more people to return to work and to help reboot the economy, the Sunday Telegraph reports.
Transport operators have suffered major financial losses as the coronavirus measures dramatically drove down passenger numbers.
Further restrictions are set to ease next week, with beauty salons, tattoo studios, spas, gyms and indoor swimming pools given the green light to re-open in England from Monday.
It comes after English travellers were told they could go on holiday to a long list of destinations without having to self-isolate for 14 days when they return home from last Friday, as part of a series of ‘air bridge’ agreements with other nations.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office also updated its travel guidance, which had previously warned against all but essential international travel.
Following the easing of more Covid-19 measures, ministers are now considering making face masks compulsory in shops and confined spaces.
Currently, face coverings are only mandatory in hospitals and on public transport in England, with anyone not wearing one at risk of receiving a fine.
But the prime minister is now expected to tell the Commons that masks will be necessary in other parts of public life in order to encourage ‘more normal’ living while lockdown eases.
The change to emergency legislation is likely to follow Scotland’s, where face coverings are already mandatory in shops.
Speaking on Friday, Mr Johnson said: ‘I do think we need to be stricter in insisting people wear face coverings in confined spaces where they are meeting people they don’t normally meet.
However, for some who have lost loved ones during the pandemic the measure is too little too late.
The families of 1,200 victims marched to Downing Street demanding a public inquiry into the government’s handling of the pandemic, with group telling the PM ‘you can’t keep running from us’.
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