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Boris Johnson says Government 'ramping up' coronavirus testing

Boris Johnson says the Government is "ramping up testing" to attempt to treat a quarter of a million people a day, as he said the UK could "turn the tide" on coronavirus in 12 weeks.

三级成人视频The Prime Minister said the first UK patient had entered a clinical trial for treatment of coronavirus, and the Government was hoping to invest in a new "antibody test" for the disease that would allow it to test more people.

三级成人视频"We're massively increasing the testing to see whether you have it now and ramping up daily testing from 5,000 a day, to 10,000 to 25,000 and then up at 250,000," he said.

That's it from us tonight

That looks to be the last of the politics new today, but we'll be blogging all the latest coronavirus news on our dedicated live blog.

三级成人视频Here's Matt's take on the latest shutdown measures.

Republic of Ireland sees third coronavirus death

Another person has died and 191 new cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in the Republic of Ireland. This is the third death. The total number of cases is now 557 in the Republic.

Boris Johnson press conference summary

Prof Chris Whitty, Boris Johnson and Sir Patrick Vallance Credit: LEON NEAL/AFP

Here's what we learned in today's press conference:

  • Boris Johnson believes the "tide can be turned" on coronavirus in the next 12 weeks. Pressed by The Telegraph on what exactly he meant, Mr Johnson replied: "I cannot say that by the end of June we will be on the downward slope, I cannot say that for certain."
  • The Government is "ramping up testing" of the virus and hopes to test 250,000 patients a day using a new "antibody test".
  • There is a "local and global" issue with providing personal protective equipment to healthcare staff, Prof Chris Whitty said.
  • Boris Johnson said the Government stood ready to take further action in London if people did not follow the Government's advice on social distancing, although he ruled out closing down public transport.

Boris Johnson: Daily press conference could happen remotely

M三级成人视频r Johnson noted that journalists are "sitting further and further away from each other" each day at the press conferences, and suggested they could happen remotely in future.

Boris Johnson: I hope to be on a downward curve by the end of June

The Telegraph's Gordon Rayner asks Mr Johnson what the Government's 12-week target for coronavirus really means.

Mr Johnson replies that he cannot say the curve of coronavirus cases in the UK will be on a downward trajectory by the end of June, but he hopes that it will.

三级成人视频Sir Patrick Vallance says the UK is hoping to move away from a "disease transmission phase" to where health officials can "put a lid on it" and begin to treat people.

三级成人视频He emphasised that the first clinical trial of a UK patient began today.

Will young people die of coronavirus?

One journalist asks Boris Johnson whether the UK is seeing similar figures to elsewhere, where 40 per cent of deaths are among people aged between 20 and 55.

Prof Whitty intervenes to say the majority of deaths will be older and vulnerable people, but it will affect younger people too. 

NHS in London already under pressure, says Chris Whitty

Prof Chris Whitty Credit: Leon Neal/Getty

P三级成人视频rof Chris Whitty, the Government's Chief Medical Officer, said the NHS in London was already facing pressure on intensive care units from coronavirus patients.

Prof Whitty said there was a "local and a global issue" with personal protective equipment for NHS workers. 

"In the short term, this is about making sure the PPE stocks are in the right places, in the longer term this is a global issue," he said. 

Government aiming for 250,000 tests a day

Sir Patrick Vallance, the Chief Scientific Advisor, said the Government is ramping up testing to be able to test a quarter of a million people per day.

The Government is investigating whether it could introduce new "anti-body testing" to test more people, he said.

Boris Johnson: I am confident 'tide can be turned' in 12 weeks

Mr Johnson said he hopes the 'tide can be turned' in the next 12 weeks Credit: Leon Neal/Getty

Beth Rigby of Sky asks the PM whether he thinks the "tide can be turned" by the summer, and whether people will be able to go on summer holidays.

Mr Johnson said there is no question that the Government will close all public transport in London and stop people going to work if they really need to.

He is confident the tide can be turned in 12 weeks but only if people work together and follow Government advice, he said.

Mr Johnson did not answer directly whether he thinks summer holidays would be threatened.

Boris Johnson: The Government will help people, not just banks

Mr Johnson said the Government would take measures to help people who are affected by economic downturn caused by coronavirus.

"You know what happened in 2008, everybody said we bailed out the banks and we didn't help people."

This time, the Government would help the people who are really affected by economic shocks, he said.

Boris Johnson: Pubs will close if people don't follow advice

Laura Kuenessberg from the BBC asks Mr Johnson whether he will move to shut pubs, clubs and cafes in the next few days.

"We are guided by the science, and whether we think the advice we have given is working," he said.

"If we feel that that is working then we want to say thank you for your extraordinary efforts and encourage everybody to do likewise."

三级成人视频Mr Johnson said the Government would not shut establishments unless it was clear people were not following Government advice.

Boris Johnson: Businesses must stand by their workers

Mr Johnson said businesses must stand by their workers.

"To everyone who is worried about their jobs, to everybody who faces difficulty because of the advice we are giving, I say to businesses, stand by your workers and employees because we will stand by you," he said.

Boris Johnson: Government is ramping up testing

Mr Johnson said the Government was "ramping up" testing so it can test 250,000 people per day.

"This is rapidly coming down the track, but it will take time to come on stream," he said.

三级成人视频In the meantime, he said the public must continue to follow the Government's advice.

"Work from home if you possibly can, wash your hands," he said.

Boris Johnson: First vaccine trial in a month

M三级成人视频r Johnson said the scientific progress on coronavirus was rapid. 

The first British patient has been entered into a randomised controlled trial for coronavirus and the first vaccine trials should begin within a month, he said.

But we must also get better at testing, and the Government is in talks to buy an "anti-body test" to improve testing for the disease, he said.

Boris Johnson: Coronavirus suppression could end in 12 weeks

Boris Johnson's press conference has begun from Downing Street.

三级成人视频The Prime Minister thanks the country for following the advice the Government has given.

"I'm conscious that as the days have gone by, people want to know how long to keep it up," he said.

"I think we can turn the tide in the next 12 weeks, and I am confident that we can send coronavirus packing in this country, but only if we take the steps outlined."

Boris Johnson press conference to begin at 5pm

We are expecting the Prime Minister to appear with a senior minister and Sir Patrick Vallance, the Government's Chief Scientific Advisor, at around 5pm.

Mr Johnson hasn't always been great at keeping to the schedule in the past, but we'll have a live feed here as soon as we get it.

Queen: We are up to the challenge of coronavirus

The Queen has issued a message of support to Britain.

In a statement, she said that in a period of "great concern and uncertainty", Britain was "up to the challenge. 

“Our nation’s history has been forged by people and communities coming together to work as one," she said.

三级成人视频Our Royal Correspondent Hannah Furness has the full statement here:

Coronavirus Bill will help workers volunteer

The Coronavirus Bill will include a new "emergency volunteer leave" that will allow Britons to take unpaid leave from their jobs to help with the coronavirus effort.

Ministers hope to increase volunteers numbers and free up emergency services workers.

三级成人视频The scheme is designed to remove two obstacles to people volunteering: having to take holiday from work and the need to earn money.

三级成人视频The leave would be unpaid but the Government intends to compensate those helping for some of their loss of earnings and expenses.

In other news

Labour MP Kate Osamor has been ordered to apologise to the House of Commons after the standards committee found she breached the MPs' code.

The Committee on Standards found numerous breaches, including for using House-supplied stationery to write to a court to provide a character reference for her son who was being sentenced for a drugs offence.

The MP said she was "delighted to draw a line under this matter".

Sadiq Khan: Crossrail delay is 'inevitable'

Crossrail, the project to build the Elizabeth Line, has already been beset with delays Credit: Peter Summers/Getty

C三级成人视频rossrail could be further delayed due to the coronavirus, Sadiq Khan has indicated.

The London Mayor said it is "inevitable" that the troubled project - already behind schedule and over budget - will be affected by the outbreak.

He was asked by Caroline Pigeon, deputy chairwoman of the London Assembly's Transport Committee, if the virus could close down some construction sites and push the rail scheme's start date back even further.

三级成人视频Mr Khan replied: "If I'm saying only essential workers should go to work, if I'm saying the best way to reduce the spread of the virus is to stay at home unless you have to work, that is an impact.

"The Crossrail team will do what they can to work remotely where they can but some of the things you need to be physically there to do.

"So I think it's inevitable."

Troops on the ground is 'risky' - defence expert

Deploying military personnel to support public services is "risky", a defence expert has warned, as the Government announced it intends to bring soldiers in Iraq back to the UK to assist with the coronavirus pandemic.

Elizabeth Braw, senior research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), said the tasks which troops would be expected to carry out were "not their speciality" and "essentially a distraction" from their normal duties.

三级成人视频The Government announced on Wednesday that up to 20,000 service personnel will form part of a Covid Support Force, as the number of deaths in the England rose to 128.

The Coronavirus Bill in numbers

D三级成人视频avid Allen Green, a legal commentator, writes that there are 37 instances of "detain" and 11 instances of "imprisonment" in the Coronavirus Bill.

Coronavirus death toll rises to 128

T三级成人视频he Coronavirus death toll in England has risen by 29 to 128, NHS England has announced. 

Emergency legislation could last until 2022

More from Christopher Hope:

The exceptional powers being demanded by the Government to combat the coronavirus could remain in force for two and a half years, the new Coronavirus Bill says.

The powers are designed to end after two years however there is also provision for ministers to shorten - or lengthen - this period by six months.

三级成人视频This will almost certainly be challenged by the Labour party which is demanding that the measures only apply for six months after the Bill comes onto force - which must be by March 31.

The Government says: "It is important to have this extension mechanism since the health and welfare implications of letting the provisions expire when Covid-19 is still spreading could be serious and at this time the duration of the Covid-19 pandemic is not known.

三级成人视频"It will also be possible to extend some provisions of the Bill while letting others sunset – so if some measures are no longer necessary as the pandemic get less severe these could be sunset while the provisions that are still being relied on could be retained.

"This is to ensure that measures are only in place as long as is necessary to manage the effects of a Covid-19 pandemic." The Government says that the Bill be debated again in the House of Commons one year after it comes into force.

Coronavirus Bill: New powers to close down events and premises

M三级成人视频inisters will be able to "prohibit or restrict events and gatherings, and to close premises, if the public health situation deems it necessary" the notes to the Bill say.

三级成人视频That means the Government can close any shop, bar, restaurant or building it deems necessary, and will be used to enforce any partial shutdown of London or other towns or cities.

三级成人视频The language in relation to premises says ministers can: "Issue a direction imposing prohibitions, requirements or restrictions in relation to the entry into, departure from, or location of persons in premises in England."  

On events, the Bill says: "The Secretary of State may, for the purpose of preventing, protecting against, delaying or otherwise controlling the incidence or transmission of coronavirus, or facilitating the most appropriate deployment of medical or emergency personnel and resources, issue a direction prohibiting, or imposing requirements or restrictions in relation to, the holding of an event or gathering in England."

Bank of England committee unanimous on rate cut

Andrew Bailey, the bank's new governor, has been in the job less than four days Credit: Tolga Akmen/PA

The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted unanimously in favour of the rate cut (see 14.46).

In a statement, the central bank said: "Over recent days, and in common with a number of other advanced economy bond markets, conditions in the UK gilt market have deteriorated as investors have sought shorter-dated instruments that are closer substitutes for highly liquid central bank reserves.

"At its special meeting on 19 March, the MPC judged that a further package of measures was warranted to meet its statutory objectives.

"It therefore voted unanimously to increase the Bank of England's holdings of UK government bonds and sterling non-financial investment-grade corporate bonds by £200 billion to a total of £645 billion, financed by the issuance of central bank reserves, and to reduce Bank Rate by 15 basis points to 0.1%."

Police given power to detain "potentially infectious persons"

The notes to the Bill say that ministers "assume that the vast majority of people will comply with relevant public health advice", Gordon Rayner writes. 

But for those who do not, the Bill will "provide public health officers, constables and (in some circumstances) immigration officers with the means to enforce sensible public health restrictions, including returning people to places that they have been required to stay.

三级成人视频"Where necessary and proportionate, constables and immigration officers will be able to direct individuals to attend, remove them to, or keep them at suitable locations for screening and assessment."

三级成人视频Legal powers already exist for the police to arrest anyone failing to comply, with the courts having the power to impose fines of £1,000.

Taxpayer to cover firms' sick pay costs if absences worsen

The taxpayer will pick up the costs of extra sick pay if employers are overwhelmed by illness among their staff, according to the new Coronavirus Bill, Christopher Hope writes.

Currently statutory sick pay is paid by an employer to an employee who is absent from work due to sickness at a flat weekly rate for up to 28 weeks.

The Government says: "The current Statutory Sick Pay system does not provide the flexibility required for the response to managing and mitigating the effects of a covid-19 pandemic. "In the event of a severe Covid-19 outbreak in the UK, the number of people off work would increase significantly 75 The legislative framework."

The Bill allows for the Government to allow employers to ask HM Revenue and Customs to cover the costs of additional sick pay payments when the crisis is expected to worsen. Sick pay will also be paid immediately rather than after three days so that people are not tempted to come to work when they have been struck down by the virus.

Coronavirus Bill and school closures

T三级成人视频he Bill gives the Government three powers in relation to schools.

  1. The power to close schools or childcare providers
  2. The power to make "specific types of directions" over the way the schools or childcare providers are run, such as forcing them to remain open
  3. The power to vary existing arrangements, such as maximum class sizes.

On the subject of forcing schools to stay open, the legislation says a local authority can "require that body or institution to take steps specified in the direction in connection with the provision, for a specified period, of— (i) education, training or childcare, (ii) services relating to education, training or childcare, or (iii) ancillary services or facilities".

The wording of the Bill is deliberately open-ended to allow ministers wide-ranging powers to suspend current laws relating to education as and when the need arises.

The Coronavirus Bill in full

You can read the Coronavirus Bill in full here. 

Follow the blog for all the latest from our correspondents.

Coronavirus Bill: Food producers required to report shortages

More from Christopher Hope, who is gutting the Coronavirus Bill:

三级成人视频Food producers will be compelled to tell the Government when supplies are running low, he writes. 

The legislation makes clear that ministers' response to the crisis relies on companies telling the Government when food stocks are running low.

Empty shelves this morning in Rugby Credit: Martin Cleaver/AP

However the Government says that "whilst we anticipate ongoing collaboration on a voluntary basis between Government and industry, it is right and proper for a responsible Government to plan for every scenario.

三级成人视频"Therefore, we need a power to act if a member(s) of the food industry were to refuse to comply with voluntary requests for information in order to ensure Government has the necessary information to build a clear understanding of the situation, make informed judgements and respond effectively."

Bank of England slashes bank rate to 0.1%

The Bank of England has slashed the bank rate of interest to 0.1 per cent in an attempt to stimulate the economy.

Follow all the latest finance news on our live blog here.

Harold Shipman rules relaxed under Coronavirus Bill

More from our Political Editor Gordon Rayner on the changes to cremation law in the Coronavirus Bill.

三级成人视频Rules concerning cremation certificates, introduced in the wake of the Harold Shipman case, will be temporarily suspended, the Bill says.

Instead of two doctors having to fill in separate forms to authorise a cremation, only one doctor will have to do so, though a "medical referee" at a crematorium - who could be a retired doctor - will still have to sign off the paperwork as a second pair of eyes.

三级成人视频The requirement for a second doctor to authorise cremation was brought in after Shipman murdered an estimated 250 patients by injecting them with lethal doses of diamorphine.

Evidence of his crimes was destroyed when victims were cremated after he had signed the necessary forms. The Bill will "allow cremations to take place without the need for additional medical practitioner oversight, reducing the burden on healthcare professionals allowing them to be available to support with other duties.

三级成人视频"It will also reduce the likelihood of delays to allowing families to be able to make cremation arrangements for the deceased."

Coronavirus Bill Emergency powers to deal with corpses

The Coronavirus Bill gives local authorities sweeping powers to order people such as crematorium managers to dispose of dead bodies in the event that death management becomes a problem.

It says: "A designated local authority may give a direction requiring a person to do anything calculated to facilitate the transportation, storage or disposal of dead bodies or other human remains in the local authority’s area or from its area."

The Government's explanatory notes, published alongside the Bill, say that it gives local authorities "the necessary powers to direct those in the death management system to ensure excess deaths caused by Covid-19 do not overwhelm the system...

三级成人视频"This will ensure that deceased bodies can be stored, transported or disposed of with care and respect."

Only one doctor required for sectioning under Coronavirus Bill

Chief Political Correspondent Christopher Hopeis leafing through the new Coronavirus Bill.

The word of a single doctor will be enough to confine someone to a mental hospital against their will under the new Coronavirus Bill, he writes.

Currently the opinions of two doctors and a mental health expert are required before sectioning someone under the Mental Health Act 1983. 

However notes published by Parliament state the Bill will "allow certain functions relating to the detention and treatment of patients to be satisfied by fewer doctors’ opinions or certifications. 

三级成人视频"Temporary amendments also allow for the extension or removal of certain time limits relating to the detention and transfer of patients.

The Bill "will reduce the number of doctors’ opinions required and modify time limits for detention and movement between court, prison and hospital. 

三级成人视频"This will enable them to be admitted to hospital for treatment where there might otherwise be delay owing to shortage of qualified staff in a pandemic".

Key points of Coronavirus Bill

T三级成人视频he Coronavirus Bill is a bundle of emergency law changes the Government has proposed to allow it to deal with the coronavirus epidemic. It would:

  • Give the Government has the power to detain people and test them for coronavirus, force them to isolate if they test positive, and fine them £1000 if they refuse.
  • Require supermarkets to give the Government information on whether there will be disruptions to their supply chains.
  • Allow employers to claim for the cost of statutory sick pay from the Government where an employee has coronavirus. 
  • Give local authorities sweeping powers to order people such as crematorium managers to dispose of dead bodies in the event that death management becomes a problem.

More to follow.

Emergency legislation published

T三级成人视频he Government has published its Coronavirus Bill - the emergency legislation it is enacting to deal with the coronavirus crisis.

You can read the 329-page  bill .

Scottish exams cancelled

T三级成人视频he Scottish Education Secretary John Swinney has said all school exams in 2020 will be cancelled.

三级成人视频Boris Johnson has already said that exams will not take place in England as normal in May and June.

David Davis pushes for longer debates on emergency legislation

F三级成人视频ormer Brexit Secretary David Davis has said the Government must give more time for MPs to debate emergency legislation.

三级成人视频Responding to Jacob Rees-Mogg, Leader of the House, he said the "Opposition has a serious point in terms of the duration of the emergency legislation, particularly given that it would appear we're only going to debate it for one day."

"There is a qualitative difference between a single-day debate on emergency legislation and even a two-day debate," he said.

Mr Rees-Mogg replied: "I note the point that my right honourable friend makes, the Government is aware of this point. The Bill needs to progress with support in this House. Emergency legislation is best done and only tends to go through successfully when there is a very widespread consensus, so his point is a very important one."

Brexit deadline still on despite Barnier's coronavirus

Downing Street has insisted Michel Barnier's illness will not force the transition period to be extended and the Government remained committed to the December 31 deadline.

Discussions have been taking place between officials in Westminster and Brussels about how to proceed with future rounds, possibly through the use of video conference technology.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "We of course send Michel Barnier our best wishes.

三级成人视频"In relation to Brexit negotiations... we have been in close conversation with the EU about looking at ways to continue progressing the negotiations.

"Both sides have shared their texts of potential legal agreements."

Extinction Rebellion factions can't agree on HS2 protest

An update on the Extinction Rebellion protest (see 13.13).

One spokesman for the group tells the Telegraph its HS2 protest has been cancelled because of concerns about coronavirus, while another says it will be going ahead and will not cause disruption to the police.

EU Commission president to take Covid-19 test

Ursula von der Leyen will be tested but is not displaying symptoms Credit: Thierry Monasse/Getty

Ursula von der Leyen will be tested for coronavirus because of her contact with Michel Barnier, the EU Commission has confirmed.

Michel Barnier, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, announced he had tested positive earlier today (see 10.32).

三级成人视频A Commission spokesman said:

"President von der Leyen last met Michel Barnier almost two weeks ago to the day. She has no symptoms and therefore is continuing to work. 

"She will be tested obviously in view of this announcement but for the moment her activities continue exactly as foreseen as they do for the rest of the college. 

"The operations of the Commission continue for the moment as normal but obviously all staff who have been in contact with Michel Barnier are asked to take the necessary precaution."

Parliament could consider digital voting as MPs isolate

Over in the Commons, MPs have been discussing how to manage voting on emergency legislation as members go into isolation.

三级成人视频Jacob Rees-Mogg, Leader of the House, said MPs could vote to bring forward the Easter recess date but the Government wished to retain flexibility in case further emergency legislation needs to be approved.

三级成人视频Tommy Sheppard, the SNP Commons leader, suggested MPs could vote remotely. 

The technology is available to "continue to have informed democratic debate without the necessity of having to meet in this chamber, " he said

三级成人视频Mr Rees-Mogg said the Commons voted for the current recess arrangements, adding: "The House can obviously vote for new recess dates. I'd say we want to maintain flexibility because I can't make an absolute guarantee that all the emergency legislation that could possibly have been thought of is in the Bill coming before the House today.

"There may be other things we need to legislate on and there is also a demand for scrutiny so we have to get this balance right, and nothing will be done without consulting the opposition parties."

Extinction Rebellion announces HS2 protest, then cancels it

Extinction Rebellion became embroiled in an internal row this morning after it announced it would launch a major protest against HS2 in the middle of the Covid-19 crisis, only to cancel it less than two hours later, Tony Diver reports.

三级成人视频The Telegraph understands a faction of the group wanted to push ahead with a protest on the railway line despite the pressure on police it would create.

三级成人视频A spokesman for the group said it had not been agreed by the leadership and apologised.

The Windrush Generation

If you want to familiarise yourself with the Windrush Generation, take a look at this picture gallery三级成人视频 which has striking images of when Empire Windrush first docked in Essex in the late 1940s, to  how passengers entertained themselves on the ship. 

A full account of Priti Patel speaking in the Commons addressing the Windrush scandal can be found here

David Lammy MP says Windrush report shows Home Office 'unfit for society'

Not all of the Windrush generation have been reached, Home Sec says

Ms Patel has confirmed that those eligible for compensation will receive it in full.

She added that "there are still people out there in need of our help who we have not yet reached", as she confirmed the launch of an expanded cross-Government Windrush working group to develop programmes to improve the lives of those affected.

三级成人视频"That may be through employment support programmes, dedicated mental health support and specialist education and training schemes," she said.

"We will also open a £500,000 fund for grassroots organisations to promote these schemes, including provisions for specialist advice services."

Home Secretary vows to make Home Office 'better place to work'

Priti Patel has apologised for the suffering experienced by the Windrush generation. 

 "We must all look to ourselves, we must all do better at walking in other people's shoes. We must all take responsibility for the failings that led to the unimaginable suffering of this generation," she has told the Commons. 

"We will continue to do everything possible to ensure that the Home Office protects, supports and listens to every single part of the community it serves."

Paying tribute to former home secretaries Theresa May, Sajid Javid and Amber Rudd, Ms Patel added:

Over coming months, myself, Matthew Rycroft the new Permanent Secretary and the second permanent secretary will work together with our dedicated staff at all levels to reflect on the recommendations, including those relating to compliant environment policies and cultural change.

Fundamentally, I want to make the Home Office a better place to work. This will include a clarification of the department's purpose, mission and values, putting at its heart fairness, dignity and respect - we will put people before process.

The UK is not naive when it comes to high risk vendors, says Foreign Secretary 

Dominic Raab has said the UK faces "a significant cyber challenge". 

"We are very, very mindful of an increased threat from cyber," he told the Foreign Affairs Committee. 

He said that as well as threats from Russia,  China and Isis, "cyber is one that has definitely risen on the pecking order". 

On 5G Mr Raab said that the UK was "very alive to the risks but also looking to engage more generally". 

三级成人视频 "We are confident both on the telecomms supply chain review and the national cyber security centre."

Mr Raab added that the Government was not "naive in dealing with high risk vendors". "That is a term we used to describe Huawei and others."

三级成人视频He said it was important to build a collaboration with "highly trusted vendors".  

Lobby briefing 

Here's an update on what Number 10 is saying about a potential London lock down:

  • There are no plans at all to shut down the London transport network
  • There is "zero chance" of any restrictions on travel in and out of London 
  • There will not be restrictions on the number of people who can leave their house at any one time
  • The powers that will be taken will be visible later today when the emergency legislation is published
  • Further restrictions on bars and restaurants were not ruled out 

London will not go into lock down, Downing Street says 

Gordon Rayner, Political Editor, has been in a Number 10 lobby briefing. He says the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman has pushed back heavily at the idea that the capital will go into lock down: 

Work from home, Lord Fowler tells peers

News from the House of Lords from Christopher Hope, one of the few reporters left in Parliament:

Members of the House of Lords should work from home, the Speaker of the House of Lords has said.

三级成人视频Lord Fowler, the Speaker of the House of Lords, said that peers should know that it was not their "duty" to attend the Lords in the current coronavirus crisis.

三级成人视频In a rare personal statement he told the chamber that he would be "working from home" for the foreseeable future

He said: "No one should consider it is their duty to be here in present circumstances. I would also that everyone reflect on their own situation."

House of Lords attendance figures show a dramatic fall in the number of peers signing in. Just 288 peers signed in on Tuesday, compared to 459 peers on Tuesday last week and 494 on the same day the week before.

Dominic Raab dodges whether Integrated Review will still be published on time 

There has been a lot of interested surrounding the Government-wide Integrated Review三级成人视频 that will cover "priorities and objectives" for the Foreign Office, Ministry of Defence and Department for International Development. 

三级成人视频Asked by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office if the review is still due to be published in July (as some MPs have speculated that it will be postponed) Mr Raab says: "Yes, it is still proceeding". 

"The idea was that it would take the CRS and conclude in July. In one sense we are depending on that," he said. 

Mr Raab added that he did not think any of the "other non-urgent" reviews were "going at the same sense of intensity", due to coronavirus. 

三级成人视频"I understand it isn't proceeding at the same intensity." 

Disgruntled MPs challenge Government in Commons

 Greg Clark, the Chairman of Science & Technology Select Committee, has strongly criticised the lack of immediate Government action to protect people's wages and income.

The former business secretary said the £330M loan scheme would not stop mass job losses and government should use PAYE system immediately.

Follow the live stream at the top of the blog for what's happening in the Commons right now. 

Foreign Secretary says it is important to work together on 'global issue'

Dominic Raab tells  the Foreign and Commonwealth Office that he wants to "forge as much consensus as we can". 

He said it is difficult as different countries are at different stages of the line on the graph. 

Mr Raab said that "if we deal with this individually it doesn't go away" and stressed that he has been in regular contact with his opposite numbers around the world. 

 Michel Barnier has revealed he has tested positive for coronavirus

 The EU's chief Brexit negotiator said he remained in "good spirits" despite the diagnosis: 

National Volunteer Projects

A volunteer project is being looked into as a way to "consider the many offers of volunteers we have had". 

Asked if supermarket workers would be put on 'key workers' list, Mr Eustice assures that over 25% working in the food supply chain have children of school age. He says it's something that is recognised. 

Government to consider relaxing competition laws among supermarkets

M三级成人视频r Eustice said that he has also been in touch regularly with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government in order "to get food to those who are self-isolating". 

"We must take action to set aside any obstacles to making the food supply chain operate in a way that ensures people have food", he said. 

三级成人视频Mr Eustice added that he is in conversation with supermarkets about food charities and competition laws. 

Asked more specifically if he will consider relaxing food competition laws, he says:

"We had a detailed workshop with both retailers and food processors to identify what they would like to do and what changes to competition law we would need to consider and implement and we are working on that right now."

'There isn't a shortage of food'

T三级成人视频he statement may come as a shock to many who have seen the pictures, or indeed seen in person, the empty supermarket shelves over the last week. 

However, Mr Eustice explains : "There isn't a shortage of food. The challenge we have had is getting food to shelves when people have been purchasing more". 

三级成人视频"We have significant resources in our food supply chain in that food manufacturers are used to dealing with increases in demand, not least every year during Christmas.

He adds that driver hours will be relaxed so that deliveries can take place more frequently. 

Supermarkets will ensure all have access to food

George Eustice, the Environment Secretary, tells the Commons that "the Government is in close contact with representatives from the food supply chain".

He offers reassurance to those who are self isolating as he says that "those who stay at home will have continued access to food".

He adds that "supermarkets are working around the clock". 

Public transport operators have started slashing services due to the coronavirus

Train, coach and bus frequencies are being cut amid a collapse in demand and Government advice on avoiding non-essential travel.

  • Northern Trains said there will be cancellations on a dozen routes today "as a result of Covid-19".

三级成人视频The affected routes include Liverpool-Manchester Airport, Leeds/Sheffield-Nottingham and Newcastle-Carlisle.

  • South Western Railway said it is cancelling trains at short notice as, "like most organisations, we're seeing more staff having to stay at home unwell".
  • Great Western Railway has announced its sleeper service between London Paddington and Penzance - known as the Night Riviera - will be suspended after Friday "to protect our customers and colleagues".

三级成人视频Robert Nisbet, director of nations and regions at industry body the Rail Delivery Group, said train companies will operate services to "as many places as possible in line with demand".

  • Transport for London said it will close up to 40 London Underground stations until further notice in a bid to "ensure a safe and reliable service".
  • The Night Tube, which normally operates on Friday and Saturday nights, has been suspended, and there will be no Waterloo and City line services.
  • Buses in the capital will operate fewer services and the UK's largest operator of scheduled coach services, National Express, said it will reduce its capacity by 80%.
  • The firm's bus networks - which operate across the West Midlands and urban services in Coventry and Dundee - have been cut to a typical Sunday service, which amounts to the removal of around 40% of its bus mileage.

Gordon Brown calls on Government to do 'considerably more'

The former Labour prime minister and chancellor has urged Rishi Sunak to do "considerably more" to protect people's jobs by the weekend amid the coronavirus crisis.

"I think he will have to do considerably more to deal with the issues of employment protection," Mr Brown told Today.

He says he'll do more but the package should be out now to avoid redundancies being forced upon companies over the next day or two.

I think a lot of company directors will be looking at the moment to how many staff they are going to shed in the next few days, next few weeks.

三级成人视频And I think we need to step in now with building the confidence that we can keep people in work or keep people on short term in work and have an arrangement with people where they take some holidays but at the same time they are going to have income protection.

If families don't have income protection there's lot of other consequences: people try to work if they are sick, people put themselves at risk.

三级成人视频Their health becomes an issue of public health and I think we really have to step in to deal with this particular blockage at the moment and I hope the Chancellor will act before the end of tomorrow.

Government will take 'tough decisions' to ensure safety of UK

Asked on Today about taking more strident measures to ensure members of the public adhere to Government advice and avoid pubs and restaurants, Mr Williamson said:

"We will take the incredibly tough decisions that are sometimes needed in order to ensure the safety of the population."

Education Secretary says he has looked at every possible option re exams 

三级成人视频"Every option is so much less good than the exam process we normally go through," Gavin Williamson told Today. 

H三级成人视频e said it was important the Government "do things as fair as possible to all pupils". 

三级成人视频He confirmed that "we aren't going to be able to run exams".

"Children will not be sitting exams this year," he added. 

What is a key worker? 

W三级成人视频hilst the Cabinet Office will issue details of what constitutes a key worker tomorrow, Gavin Williamson has given a few examples for now:

  • Working within a hospital, making a hospital function
  • Individuals who make sure schools function
  • Distribution drivers who are critical in getting food onto our shelves 
  • People who work within our national infrastructure 

Gavin Williamson says Government could waive newly-qualified teacher status

The Education Secretary said the move would be to ensure new teachers currently in training can enter the classroom in September.

三级成人视频He was asked whether - for trainee teachers who will not have had the required classroom time by September - the Government would be prepared to waive the newly-qualified teacher status.

三级成人视频Mr Williamson told Sky News:

We will be prepared to waive that, we will be working with teacher training establishments in order to do this.

三级成人视频We're also starting to roll out something called the Early Career Framework which in a number of regions will be starting the next academic year and right across the country the following year to make sure new teachers are supported.

Politics today 

Good morning. 

三级成人视频Travel restrictions will be applied to London from tomorrow as up to 40 tube stations will close and the overground will run a reduced service. 

三级成人视频It comes as the government prepares to publish its Coronavirus Bill in parliament, setting out in full detail the emergency powers it plans to deal with the crisis. The bill is to be debated and passed by the Commons on Monday afternoon. 

三级成人视频Meanwhile, at 9.30am Environment Secretary, George Eustice, will appear before the Commons so we can expect questions on supermarkets and food stocks. 

三级成人视频Then at 10.15am Dominic Raab will appear before the Commons foreign affairs committee for the first time, no doubt discussing repatriation of British citizens stranded abroad due to coronavirus.   

And, in non coronavirus news, Priti Patel will appear before the Commons this morning to deliver a statement on the independent report on the Windrush scandal, having not spoken publicly since Sir Philip Rutman resigned.