Coronavirus: The 15 major developments that happened on Wednesday

Yahoo News UK

Here’s what you need to know on 20 May. This article was updated at 5pm.

Deaths: There have been at least 363 coronavirus deaths in the UK in the last 24 hours. The Department of Health’s figures, which cover the 24-hour period up to 5pm on Tuesday, were released during the daily public briefing. Read more here.

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There may be no coronavirus deaths on several days in June if trends continue to follow the same path in the UK, experts have said. Fatalities are currently dropping by 30 a day, which puts the country on course to have none by the end of next month, statisticians argued. Read more here.

Policy: The government’s “stay alert” message has been quietly tweaked after complaints it was too vague. Adverts bearing the advice “keep our distance, wash our hands, think of others and play our part” have been spotted in recent days without much publicity. Read more here.

Millions of pounds will be “unlocked” from dormant accounts to help charities as they respond to the coronavirus crisis, the Government said. Culture secretary Oliver Dowden said £150 million from dormant bank and building society accounts will help charities, social enterprises and vulnerable people during the pandemic. The culture secretary also announced a renewal taskforce to help work out how sport can return. The announcements were made in the daily briefing.

Education: Government advisers said schools should not reopen until the system to track and trace the virus is working. Sky News reports that the government has been warned by its scientific advisers not to proceed until the "contact tracing" system is up and running and, importantly, is a proven success. Read more here.

Up to 1,500 primary schools in England will stay closed on 1 June after at least 18 councils indicated rebellion against government plans to reopen them by then. The government has indicated it will not punish any schools or councils who don’t open on the planned timetable. Read more here.

Science: Handwashing six to 10 times a day is linked to a lower risk of seasonal coronavirus, supporting public health guidance around measures for the Covid-19 outbreak, research suggests. The study, which has not been peer-reviewed, suggests it results in a 36% reduction in risk of getting coronavirus compared to those who wash their hands zero to five times a day. Read more here.

Scientists have suggested a rolling cycle of 50 days of lockdown followed by 30 days of “normality” to help manage the coronavirus outbreak. Researchers at the University of Cambridge suggested the rolling system to potentially avoid a second peak but return to some activity. Read more here.

Meanwhile another group of scientists, from the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, said lockdown must be lifted now. They say there is now “no alternative” but to end lockdown in order to “start the engine of society again”. Read more here.

Read more about COVID-19

How to get a coronavirus test if you have symptoms

What you can and can’t do under lockdown rules

In pictures: How UK school classrooms could look in new normal

How public transport could look after lockdown

How our public spaces will change in the future

Rest of the world

Deaths in Italy have been going up again as the nation moves out of lockdown. There were 162 deaths on Tuesday, compared with 99 the day before. New cases rose to 813. Read more here.

A man in Singapore has been sentenced to death via a Zoom call for his role in a 2011 heroin transaction. His court hearing took place remotely with the country under lockdown. Read more here.

New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern has suggested employers consider a four-day working week in a post-coronavirus world to help boost tourism and address work/life balance issues. Read more here.

Positive news

Colonel Tom Moore is to be knighted after he raised more than £33m doing laps in his garden to raise money for NHS charities. Boris Johnson recommended the 100-year-old World War II veteran be exceptionally honoured by the Queen, who has approved the honour, Number 10 said. Read more here.

The Queen’s birthday honours list, which is usually released around her official birthday, will be delayed until the autumn, to allow frontline responders to be honoured for their work in the coronavirus pandemic.

The work of NHS staff on the frontline of the coronavirus crisis has been honoured by a stunning mural showing superheroes bowing down to medics. Dad-of-two Craig Perkins, 40, had the colourful design spraypainted on to his garage so he could pay tribute to the nation's health workers as they battle COVID-19. Read more here.

Coronavirus: what happened today

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