People who experience anosmia, the loss of sense of smell/taste, are now being told to quarantine. Previously, just those who had developed a fever or continuous cough were told to self-isolate. Anosmia has been widely recognised as a symptom of coronavirus, with numerous medical experts calling for it to be included officially. It comes as commuters faced major changes to rail services today, as capacity is ramped up to around 70 percent of normal levels to help Britons commute to work. Some train operators require passengers to book seats in advance, while British Transport Police are expected to patrol London’s mainline and underground stations to help organise queues and prevent overcrowding.
At least four major train lines, including London North Eastern Railway and Avanti West Coast, have warned passengers that only those who have made a booking prior to travelling will be allowed on board.
They have implemented such a move to help prevent overcrowding and allow for social distancing to be implemented on its trains, as capacity is limited to just 10 percent of normal levels.
In London, British Transport Police have been drafted in to help prevent overcrowding – especially during peak times.
Thousands of officers will patrol platforms at mainline stations and on the tube.
But a spokesman admitted there was nothing illegal in a passenger breaking social distancing rules and no law that could prevent a commuter from boarding a crowded train.
Commuters will also be required to wear face coverings during their journey.
Coronavirus UK: A new coronavirus symptom has been added
Coronavirus UK: Alert system
Other changes to rail journeys will include train guards no longer walking up the aisles to check tickets, buffet cars and trolleys axed and passengers discouraged from eating their own food and drink on board.
First class carriages could also be scrapped to help free up space.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has reminded Britons to only travel for limited reasons such as going to work if they cannot do their job from home.
The Government also advises against using public transport where possible, in favour of walking, cycling or driving.
FOLLOW EXPRESS.CO.UK FOR LIVE UPDATES:
5.38pm update: UK continuing to learn about virus
He said: “We are learning all the way as we go through this pandemic, not just on the scientific side but on the innovation that we need to get a grip on it.
“We are making good progress on the testing and on the tracing and on the pilot in the Isle of Wight in relation to the app.”
5.32pm update: “Are you letting China off the hook?”
Mr Raab has insisted the Government is ready to work with its partners around the world on the review into the outbreak.
England’s deputy chief medical officer has also responded by insisting he could not reveal evidence on whether multiple households could meet each other at this stage.
5.28pm update: Mr Raab cannot confirm app roll out date
Asked if the app would be ready by the beginning of June, Mr Raab could not confirm the roll-out date.
Mr Van Tam also stated the app was only “one part” of the tracing system.
Coronavirus LIve: Dominic Raab heads Government briefing
5.10pm update: Government quizzed over latest symptom
Mr Van-Tam adds the UK has been careful to update the public on the symptom.
Mr Raab is now questioned over the government’s claim for the UK to use common sense.
Mr Raab said the “we are making” good progress on the programme.
He added: “We’ve always said that the steps that we might take would be at the earliest on June 1.
“We haven’t committed ourselves to anything at this point.”
5.15pm update: Is the UK preparing for a second wave?
England’s deputy chief medical officer said he hoped there would not be a second wave.
He also said the reality is that the UK will only be clear of the virus when a vaccine is created in the upcoming months or years.
Mr Van-Tam also warned over the virus’ seasonality where it could potentially spike in the winter or autumn.
5.10pm update: Mr Raab now takes questions
The first question concerns the UK’s eventual recovery from the virus.
Mr Raab states a roadmap has been published in order to sketch out the societal and economic recovery of the UK.
He adds that “the worst of all worlds would be to stumble” on course to coming out of the lockdown.
5.06pm update: Mr Raab also stated the public must continue to adhere to the rules and advice set out
He also reiterates the new advice on face coverings when in enclosed spaces.
As announced earlier, Mr Raab states there have been 21,000 contact tracers recruited.
5.02pm update: 2,684 cases reported in the last 24 hours
Dominic Raab also stated there were now 9,408 people in hospital with the virus.
5.01pm update: Government press briefing begins
There were 100,678 tests carried out yesterday while there have been 2,682,716 tests carried out overall.
A further 34,796 people have died that is an increase of 160 deaths from yesterday.
4.46pm update: Matt Hancock defends shielding the vulnerable
Today, Mr Hancock has stated shielding remains “necessary” and will continue to remain until June 30.
He said: “We’ve put in place extensive protections for people who are shielding and those protections, of course, will continue to apply up until June 30.
“The shielding is not something that we do lightly because we understand the very significant impact it has on those concerned and their families, but it is necessary in a pandemic like this.”
4.25pm update: Dominic Raab will lead the No 10 press briefing today
The Foreign Secretary will be joined by professor Jonathan Van-Tam, deputy chief medical officer for England at 5pm.
4.13pm update: 21,000 contact tracers recruited
Health Secretary, Matt Hancock has also stated that 21,000 contact tracers had been recruited in England.
Within that number, there are also 7,500 healthcare workers.
Train passengers are advised to wear face masks
3.56pm update: Anyone over the age of five will be eligible for coronavirus test
Anyone over the age of five will be eligible for a COVID-19 test.
Matt Hancock told the Commons the service would now be extended.
He said: “Today I can announce to the house that everyone five and over with symptoms, is now eligible for a test that applies right across the UK in all four nations from now.
“Anyone with a new continuous cough, a high temperature or the loss or change of sense of taste or smell can book a test.”
3.18pm update: Sweden records highest one month death toll in 27 years
According to official statistics, more Swedes died in the month of April than in any none month period since 1993.
2.59pm update: Tracking app expected in “coming weeks”
Although Health Secretary, Matt Hancock stated the app stated the new test, track and trace app would be ready by the middle of this month, the Prime Minister’s spokesman has stated it will be expected in the coming weeks.
The official spokesman said: “The pilot is ongoing in the Isle of Wight. Residents have been hugely supportive.
“Sixty thousand downloads on the island. Their feedback is vital.
“It remains our aim to roll out the app across the country in the coming weeks.”
Additional reporting by Emily Ferguson.
2.45pm update: About 8 million people covered by furlough scheme
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has said about 8million people are now covered by the Government’s furious scheme.
2.23pm update: UK figures released
In England 122 people have died in hospital after testing positive for coronavirus.
A further four people died in Wales, with two more in Scotland.
This means the UK’s hospital deaths has risen by 134 today.
2.15pm update: Northern Ireland announces latest figures
The number of people who have died after testing positive for coronavirus in Northern Ireland has risen to 482 after six more deaths were reported by the Department of Health.
1.38pm update: Only one Nightingale hospital treating coronavirus patients
Only one NHS Nightingale hospital, in Manchester, is currently treating coronavirus patients, the Prime Ministers spokesman has confirmed.
The temporary hospitals in London and Birmingham are currently “on standby” with others “ready to take patients” if required.
1.24pm update: 38% of care homes in England have had coronavirus outbreak
Downing Street has confirmed that 38 percent of care homes in England have now had a suspected or confirmed outbreak of coronavirus.
That equates to 5,889 homes, with hundreds of thousands of vulnerable residents at risk of catching the virus.
1.20pm update: Universities may not open as normal in the autumn
Universities have been urged not to make any promises to students that studies will resume as normal in the autumn by higher education regulator the Office for Students (OfS) – as this might not be the case.
Addressing a virtual Education Select Committee, Joe Grady, general secretary of the University and College Union (UCU) have called on the Government to publish firmer guidance on universities full reopening campuses next term.
She said: “They will be wanting to promise students that there’ll be reopening next semester in order to attract those students rather than them go somewhere else.
“The idea that we can just sort of leave what that guidance should look like to numerous different universities, when they’re also in competition with each other to try and attract students, I think would be incredibly dangerous.”
British Transport Police will try to prevent overcrowding of trains
12.39pm update: Scotland extends coronavirus testing scheme
From today, Scotland is widening the number of people who can be tested for Covid-19.
Anyone over the age of five who has any of the recorded symptoms for the virus will be able to book in for a test.
Tests will be available at drive-in testing sites as well as at 12 mobile testing units across Scotland.
12.15pm update: Angela Merkel urges the world to work together to overcome COVID-19
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the coronavirus pandemic would be overcome more quickly if the world works together to tackle it.
Speaking via video at a meeting of the World Health Organization (WHO), she said: “The World Health Organization is the legitimate, global institution where all the threads come together.
“Because that is the case we have to keep looking at how we can further improve its functioning.”
She added: “I am convinced we will overcome the pandemic. The more we work together internationally, the quicker we will achieve this.”
11.37am update: Insurer records 46% spike in bike thefts
Cyclists are being warned to watch out for thieves by an insurer which has reported seeing a 46 percent spike in claims relating to stolen bikes during the lockdown.
Admiral home insurance has seen a 46 percent increase in the number of bicycle theft claims over the seven weeks from March 23, compared with the same period in 2019.
This is despite general theft claims falling.
Admiral is urging cyclists to make sure they keep their bikes securely.
11.04am update: Government updates self-isolation advice
People who experience anosmia, the loss of sense of smell/taste, are now being told to quarantine.
Previously, just those who had developed a fever or continuous cough were told to self-isolate.
Nicola Sturgeon has announced plans to ramp up coronavirus testing in Scotland
10.34am update: Train stations remain quiet despite services increasing
Rail and tube services were increased this morning, with extra police deployed to help ensure social distancing measures were maintained.
But many major stations, such as London Euston, Birmingham New Street and Reading, remained fairly quiet this morning.
Network Rail, which manages Britain’s 20 busiest stations, said passenger numbers were “very similar” to last week, when they hovered at about 93 percent below average levels.
Staff at London’s Clapham Junction station said its crowd control barriers were not required as there was no noticeable increase in travel.
10am update: Italy relaxes lockdown rules and reopens shops and restaurants
Italian shops, hairdressers and restaurants reopened their doors on Monday as the country sped up efforts to bounce back from the coronavirus crisis after a 10-week lockdown.
Italy was the first European country to impose nationwide restrictions in early March, only permitting an initial relaxation of the rules on May 4, when it allowed factories and parks to reopen.
But today marks a major step, as people were allowed to travel to other regions, meet up with friends and restaurants were allowed to reopen.
9.41am update: Teachers want more clarity on whether schools are safe
Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the NAHT union, which represents head teachers, told BBC’s Today programme that teachers wanted more clarification on whether schools are centres of transmission.
He said: “Specifically around the transmission from children to adults, we’ve been told over the weekend – it’s been asserted by the government publicly over the weekend – that there isn’t the level of risk that we fear.
“However, we haven’t yet seen the scientific underpin of that.
“There’s been some commentary and I want to invite the government today to write to me so that I can talk to the 31,000 school leaders that we represent, particularly in the primary sector, and say this is why the government has made that assessment.”
9.09am update: Quarantine rules for people travelling to UK could be enforced by law
Quarantine rules for people travelling to the UK will be enforced by law, the Culture Secretary has suggested.
Oliver Dowden told BBC Radio 4’s Today: “We would look at the relevant enforcement mechanisms just as we have done with other measures.
“So for example, the measures that we took when we introduced the so-called lockdown – those were underpinned by regulations which had consequences in law, and I’m sure we’ll do the same thing.”
He said there would be “very limited” exemptions to the rules.
A female member tees off at Bryn Meadows Golf Club Captain as golf is now allowed in Wales
8.40am update: Vaccine not likely until next year – expert warns
Professor Robin Shattock, head of mucosal infection and immunity at Imperial College London, said he thought a vaccine was not likely to be widely available until next year.
He told BBC’s Today Programme: “I think we have a very high chance of seeing a number of vaccines that work because we know a lot about this target and I think there’s good scientific rationale to say it’s not such a hard target as others.
“My gut feeling is that we will start to see a number of candidates coming through with good evidence early towards next year – possibly something this year – but they won’t be readily available for wide scale use into the beginning of next year as the kind of most optimistic estimation.”
8.19am update: ‘Enormous effort’ put into ensure train stations are safe
Sir Peter Hendy, Network Rail’s chief executive, said that “an enormous amount” of effort has been put into organising stations so the likelihood of being closer than two metres from someone is “less than it was”.
He said a lot of stations have been given one-way systems and a “huge” amount of work has been done on signage.
8.05am update: Ryanair accuses Government of mishandling coronavirus
Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O’Leary said the British government had mismanaged its response to the novel coronavirus outbreak for many weeks and branded its policy on a 14-day quarantine for international travellers idiotic.
He told BBC radio: “It is idiotic and it is unimplementable.
“This the same government that has… mismanaged the crisis for many weeks.”