Here’s today’s briefing update:
The government is to pay 80% of wages for employees not working, up to £2,500 a month, Chancellor Rishi Sunak says.
The Chancellor made an appeal to employers to stand by their workers during the coronavirus crisis.
“Let me speak directly to businesses: I know it’s incredibly difficult out there – we in government are doing everything we can to support you,” he said.
“The government is doing its best to stand behind you and I’m asking you to do your best to stand behind our workers.”
Social distancing would be needed for “at least half of the year” to stop intensive care units being overwhelmed, according to the government’s scientific advisers.
The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) recommended alternating between more and less strict measures for most of a year.
Strict measures include school closures and social distancing for everyone.
Less restrictive measures include isolating cases and households.
UK PM Boris Johnson says bars, pubs, restaurants will close on Friday evening
Death toll passes 10,000, confirmed cases near 250,000, more than 80,000 recovered
Death toll in Italy rises by 627 in a day, reaching a record 4,032. Death rate ‘double for men’.
Major transport networks ‘won’t be shut down’
There is a “massive effort” going on to make sure there are enough ventilators and intensive care spaces for everyone who has the virus, the prime minister says.
A further 39 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died, NHS England has announced. That brings the total number of confirmed reported deaths in England to 167.
A-Level and GCSE grades in England will be awarded by teachers based on teacher assessments.