Coronavirus map LIVE: Boris urges Brits to avoid visiting parents in Mother’s Day message | UK | News

Boris Johnson has told Britons to avoid seeing their parents on Mother’s Day to help halt the spread of the deadly virus. It comes as the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 has surged to 5,018 in Britain, with the number of deaths sadly reaching 233, according to figures from the Department of Health. Brits have also been told this is the “first time in your life you can save lives”. The comments were made by NHS England’s national medical director, Stephen Powis, in a press conference. He spoke alongside George Eustice, environment secretary, and head of the British Retail Consortium, Helen Dickinson. Mr Powis discussed the issue of social distancing, which has been recommended by the Government.

Doctors have no faith in what is going on

Lisa Anderson

Mr Powis said: “It’s not for somebody else to follow, it’s for you to follow, it’s for me to follow, it’s for everybody to follow.

“This is all our problem and if we do it together, it will be an effective strategy.

“If you do it, you follow the advice, you will be saving somebody’s life.

Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson has delivered a Mother’s Day message to Britons (Image: GETTY)

“This is the first time in your lifetime whereby your action can save somebody’s life. It is as simple and as stark as that.”

Mr Powis also discussed a video circulating on social media of a critical care nurse in tears as she was unable to buy fresh fruit and vegetables after a 48 hour shift.

Dawn Bilbrough urged people to remember that NHS staff are the ones who are helping people in a crisis, and that they need to stay healthy. 


Northwick Park Hospital

Northwick Park Hospital (Image: PA)

Panic buying has stripped the shelves of essential items up and down the country, with many vulnerable people unable to find the items they need.

Mr Powis added: “Frankly we should all be ashamed that has had to happen. It’s unacceptable.

“These are the very people we will all need to look after perhaps us or our loved ones in the weeks ahead.”


Sunday March 22

3.10am update: Man proposes in Iceland store

A nurse, Robert Ormsby, proposed to his girlfriend Patsy Murdoch in Iceland after a trip to the country of the same name was called due to coronavirus. 

Miss Murdoch said “yes” but admitted the events made her laugh “hysterically”. 

2.15am update: Peru rescue

British nationals in Peru will be rescued by the Foreign Office next week. 

The South American nation closed borders’ last week. 

400 Britons are there and Dominic Raab has secured permission for rescue flights. 

xi jinping

Xi Jinping has offered support to European leaders (Image: GETTY)

1.15am update: Xi Jinping offers support 

Chinese President Xi Jinping has called the leaders of France, Germany, Spain and Serbia. 

Mr Xi offered to do all he could to support Europe with the outbreak. 

12.15am update: German hospitals to help French 

Hospitals in the German state of Baden-Wurttemberg will welcome critically ill patients from the French Alsace region. 

Hospitals in the Alsace are struggling with demand. 

Saturday March 21

11.00pm update: FA confirm they are not turning Wembley into an oven after spoof message 

A WhatsApp message claiming Wembley Stadium was going to be used as an oven to make lasagna went viral. 

29-year-old Billy McLean sent the message parodying over pieces of fake news saying:  “My sister, her boyfriend’s brother works for the Ministry of Defence and one of the things that they’re doing to prepare… is building a massive lasagne.

“At the moment, as we speak, they’re building the massive lasagne sheets.

“They’re putting the underground heating at Wembley on, that’s going to bake the lasagne, and then they’re putting the roof across and that’s going to recreate the oven, and then what they’re going to do is lift it up with drones and cut off little portions and drop it off to people’s houses.”

Mr McLean told The Guardian:  “It was just a one take. I sent it to the football group, my mum and the girl that I’m trying to date.

“It went around the football group. Then I got people that I know forwarding it to me, not knowing it was me, or forwarding it to me asking if I’d heard it. Ex-girlfriends were coming out of the woodwork asking was it me.”

The FA confirmed they were aware of the clip but the story was not true. 

Gursimran Hans has taken over live reporting from Rebekah Evans. 

10.00pm update: Boris urges Britons to stay away from parents on Mother’s Day

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged Brits to stay away from their parents on Mother’s Day due to the coronavirus outbreak.

In a statement, the Prime Minister said: “I am afraid that this Mothering Sunday, the single best present that we can give – we who owe our mothers so much, is to spare them the risk of catching a very dangerous disease.

“The sad news is that it means staying away.”

9.30pm update: Boris Johnson reportedly brought in UK lockdown after Macron phone call

UK Prime Minister Johnson reportedly closed bars and restaurants nationwide after French President Macron threatened to close French border to UK nationals, French news outlet Liberation has claimed.

On Friday the Prime Minister shut bars, restaurants and pubs – as he tried to halt the spread of coronavirus.

8.45pm update: Italian Prime Minister tests negative for Covid-19

The Italian Prime Minister Conte has tested negative for the deadly coronavirus.

It comes after an agent in his escort tested positive for the deadly disease.

8.00pm update: Former Real Madrid President dies due to Covid-19

Former Real Madrid President Lorenzo Sanz dies after contracting COVID-19 coronavirus.

On Saturday, Spain announced huge numbers of cases of the deadly disease which has placed much of the country on lockdown.

6.45pm update: Huge surge in COVID-19 cases in the UK

The UK has seen a massive surge in cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours.

A statement from the Department of Health and Social Care, read: “As of 9am on 21 March, a total of 72,818 have been tested: 67,800 negative. 5,018 positive.

“As of 9am, 233 patients who tested positive for coronavirus have sadly died.”

6.30pm update: French Health Minister warns about possible COVID-19 cases

France’s Health Minister Olivier Veran has warned the number of probable coronavirus cases in France “varies between 30,000 and 90,000 people”.

France has over 14,000 confirmed cases of the deadly virus with over 550 deaths.

5.45pm update: Coronavirus cases in Italy soar once again

An additional 6,557 coronavirus cases have been reported in Italy in the last 24 hours.

A new day-to-day high of 793 people have also been confirmed to have died as a result of the deadly virus.

It comes after the region of Lombardy recorded its highest count of deaths in a region in a single day – 546.

It means Italy has recorded nearly 5,000 deaths due to coronavirus – and over 53,000 cases.

4.55pm update: Algeria update

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Algeria has risen from 95 to 139.

Algeria has recently imposed a lockdown on all international and domestic travel, closing cafes, restaurants and mosques to stop the spread of the virus. 

It told half of state employees to remain at home and practice social distancing. 

4.45pm update: John Lewis to temporarily close all stores because of coronavirus

John Lewis is to close all 50 of its shops from Monday because of coronavirus.

This is the first time in the 155 year history of the brand that it will close shop doors.

Chairman Sharon White said: “The Partnership has traded for over 155 years, during which time we have faced many difficult periods, including two world wars and the 2008 financial crisis. On every occasion, thanks to our customers and Partners, and the long standing relationships with our suppliers and stakeholders, we have emerged stronger.

We all need to continue to support each other and our strength and resilience will be tested. But they will not be broken.”

4.32pm update: Two more coronavirus deaths in Wales

Two more deaths have been confirmed in Wales, bringing the total to five.

Dr Frank Atherton, chief medical officer for Wales, offered his sympathies to the family and friends of the victims.

The patients were 75 and 98 years old respectively, and had underlying health conditions. 

4.25pm update: Canada update

The death toll from the coronavirus outbreak in Canada has risen to 13 from 12 on the previous day, a government official has announced.

Confirmed cases in the country have risen to 1,099, and 83,000 people have been tested. 

4.13pm update: Italy update

The death toll in the worst-affected region of Italy, Lombardy has risen by 546 in the past 24 hours to 3,095.

The country is the worst affected outside of China

4.10pm update: French Health Minister hits out at protective equipment thefts

Olivier Veran, France’s Health Minister, has condemned the theft of protective equipment intended for medical professionals.

He has said people are breaking into emergency vehicles to loot the protective gear.

He has made the remarks at a conference specifically targeted at working out ways to alleviate the country’s shortage of face masks. 


People are being encouraged to socially distance (Image: Getty)

3.55pm update: Nigeria to close international airports because of coronavirus

Nigeria is to close its two main airports in Lagos and Abuja from Monday onwards, the civil aviation regulator of the country said.

The number of cases of covid-19 in Nigeria recently doubled, leaving officials fighting off the virus.

The airports are expected to remain closed for a month.

3.25pm update: Bosnia reports first coronavirus death

Bosnia, in southeastern Europe, has reported its first death from the covid-19 outbreak.

The news was confirmed by the country’s health authorities.

3.00pm update: More people dead from alcohol poisoning than coronavirus in one Iranian province

More people have died in Fars province in Iran from alcohol poisoning in the last few weeks, than of the virus itself, it has been reported by local media.

It has been reported covid-19 has killed 13 people in Fars, but 66 from drinking industrial-strength alcohol.

It is thought the deaths come from a debunked rumour that strong alcohol prevents people from contracting the disease.

2.35pm update: New cases in Scotland

There have been 51 new cases of coronavirus reported in Scotland, bringing the total to 373.

One more patient has sadly died, meaning the death toll in Scotland is now 7.

This brings the total case number in the UK to 4,145.

2.33pm update: George Eustice discusses foodbanks

George Eustice has said the Government is in contact with supermarkets to ensure foodbanks still get the same amount of supply.

Foodbanks have previously warned panic buying could seriously affect them.


The Government’s plan to fight back against coronavirus (Image: EXPRESS)

2.30pm update: New measures for supermarkets

New measures for supermarkets have been announced to make sure everyone has access to the items they need.

The Government has relaxed competition rules, and there will now be no rules on delivery driver working hours.

2.25pm update: George Eustice speaks about demand for certain items

“Toilet roll is made here in this country and they are able to expand production very, very quickly. 

“It is best for the retailers to flexibly come together to decide what the appropriate limit is for each item.

“This is a changing scenario, we know from toher countries that once people have stocked up their homes, it has been noted the surge in demand begins to taper off.”

2.20pm update: Stephen Powis discusses panic buying and the NHS

National medical director of NHS England, Stephen Powis, has refered to a video posted of a NHS nurse who was in tears because she was unable to buy fruit and vegetables at the supermarket after a long shift.

He said: “Frankly we should all be ashamed that has had to happen. It’s unacceptable. These are the very people we will all need to look after perhaps us or our loved ones in the weeks ahead.

He also stressed the importance of social distancing: “It’s not for somebody else to follow, it’s for you to follow, it’s for me to follow, it’s for everybody to follow.

“This is all our problem and if we do it together, it will be an effective strategy.

“If you do it, you follow the advice, you will be saving somebody’s life.

“This is the time in your lifetime whereby your action can save somebody’s life. It is as simple and as stark as that.”

2.15pm update: Over £1 billion of food has been placed into homes in the last three weeks that hasn’t been eaten – a result of stockpiling 

George Eustice, Environment Secretary said: “The truth is, there has already been a significant switch in the last three weeks of people buying from supermarkets rather than eating out. 

“We’ve taken the further step of closing those venues. We estimate in the last three weeks that an extra billion pounds of food has been placed into homes that has not yet been consumed.”

2.10pm update: Helen Dickinson, CEO of the British Retail Consortium speaks

She said: “We are seeing the peak in demand we have at Christmas, but without the four week build up we have to plan. But we’ve managed to do that within two weeks.

“There have been a whole host of issues we have addressed quickly and that is going to be vital in the coming weeks.

“Be considerate in what you buy. There is a billion pounds more food in people’s houses than there was three weeks ago, so we need to make sure we actually eat all of it. It’s about how we work together to face the challenges we are facing.”

2.05pm update: George Eustice, Environment Food and Rural Secretary urges shoppers not to panic buy

He said: “Be responsible when you shop and think of others, buying more than you need means that others may be left without.

“There is more than enough food to go round, and supply chains will increase. There is no shortage of food available and there is more arriving everyday.

“We all have a role to play.”

He has thanked all supermarket workers and delivery drivers for their work, and has encouraged shoppers to respect workers. 

1.50pm update: Switzerland cases rise significantly

Cases of coronavirus in Switzerland have risen by 25 percent in one day, as the virus grips the nation.

The country reported 6,100 coronavirus infections today, and 56 deaths. This is up more than 1,200 cases in one day. 

One of the most affected areas is Ticino, which borders Italy. The region has taken delivery of 50 additional ventilators to help those in a critical condition.

1.20pm update: Wales cases rise

There are now 89 cases of coronavirus reported in Wales.

It has been reported that the deadly disease has been recorded in every part of Wales.

Three people are said to have died in the region of the UK, bringing the total cases to 280 in Wales.

A phased roll out of testing will now start in Wales, beginning with healthcare workers in frontline patient facing clinical care.

1.15pm update: Essex Police discover toilet paper haul

Essex Police have discovered a stockpile of toilet paper and hand sanitizer after stopping a stolen vehicle in the area.

Three men have been arrested for burglary offences relating to the products, which have been stripped from shelves more widely across the UK, and the vehicle. 

The Operational Support Group tweeted: “Police officers always get a massive sense of satisfaction when we catch burglars… however we never expected to find this stolen loot in the boot.”

1.00pm update: The Big Issue scraps hard copy magazines in wake of coronavirus

The Big Issue have scrapped selling their hard copy magazines as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

From Monday, the company, which normally sells 60,000 copies a week, will move solely online, with half of money going to the 2,000 vendors.

Founder Lord John Bird said: “Coronavirus is an unprecedented threat to public health. Our sellers, many of whom are homeless, are already highly vulnerable and it is only right that we act now to protect their welfare at this critical time.”

12.45pm update: Former Labour Party parliamentary candidate who ran against the PM says his father has passed away from coronavirus.

Ali Milani, the Labour candidate who ran against Boris Johnson in the December 2019 General Election says his father has passsed away from coronavirus.

He tweeted: “In the early hours of this morning, my father tragically passed away after having contracted COVID-19.

“Please keep him in your prayers. This virus is taking millions all across the world. Please ISOLATE and listen to medical advice!”

12.30pm update: Prime Minister to meet with supermarket bosses to discuss panic buying

It is understood the Prime Minister is to meet with supermarket bosses to discuss the panic buying currently affecting the UK.

Mr Johnson will speak about supplies, and how best to keep the shelves stocked – in a time where essential items such as toilet role, paracetamol, pasta and meat are difficult to find. 

Many supermarkets have imposed item limits to stop people from panic buying, as their pleas fell on deaf ears. 

12.15pm update: Portgual’s death toll doubles overnight

The death toll in Portugal from the coronavirus outbreak has doubled overnight to 12.

The news was confirmed by the national health authority, DGS, who also stated case numbers have risen to 1,280 from 1,059 the previous day.

Portugal declared a state of emergency on Wednesday in the hopes of stemming the virus. 

12.00pm update: Most people are changing their behaviour in response to coronavirus, poll suggests

A YouGov poll has revealed almost three-quarters of respondents have changed their behaviour in response to the coronavirus, with nearly half believing they will contract the disease at some point.

The poll was carried out after Boris Johnson’s announcement of social distancing, and was commissioned by Imperial College London’s Patient Experience Research Centre.

Carried out on March 17-18, the poll showed 93 percent of respondents took at least one measure to prevent contracting covid-19 – 2,108 people were surveyed. 

11.45am update: UK’s response to coronavirus is ‘decisive’ and better than the rest of Europe – poll results

An poll has revealed many are confident in the Government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic when compared to other European countries.

The majority of respondents believe Boris Johnson’s Government has responded better to the outbreak than Spain, France or Italy.

The results of the poll can be found in the link above.


Regular Government updates are being provided on the coronavirus pandemic in the UK (Image: Getty)

11.30pm update: Spain update

The number of cases in Spain has risen to 24,926 from 19,980 in the previous tally.

The death toll has risen to 1,326 from 1,002 in the previous tally. 

11.25pm update: Germany update

The number of confirmed cases in Germany has risen by 2,705 within a day, now standing at 16,662. 

A total of 47 people have now died from the illness after testing positive – an increase of 16 from Friday.

Germany has seen fewer fatalities than other countries, but there are fears this could change.

11.20am update: Homeless to be given beds to protect against coronavirus

The homeless in London will be given beds at hotels in the city to help protect against coronavirus.

A trial will take place this weekend to offer 300 rooms to those who sleep on the streets and are known to homeless charities. 

The London Mayor’s office is working with Intercontinental Hotels Group to action the plan for the next 12 weeks. 

Rough sleepers are more at risk as they cannot follow self-isolation rules, and are more likely to have underlying health conditions.

Live updates taken over by Rebekah Evans. Previously Simon Osborne.

10.28am update: Jeremy Hunt urges Government to ‘sort it out’

Former Tory health secretary Jeremy Hunt joined growing calls for the Government to ensure frontline NHS staff are properly equipped to tackle the coronavirus crisis.

Mr Hunt said: “We are asking people to put their own lives at risk on the NHS front line.

“It is absolutely heart-breaking when NHS front-line professionals don’t have the equipment that they need.

“I think the Government has done a lot in the last week. I think they have unblocked the supply chains, but there is this question about whether it is the right equipment.”

9.33am update: Self-employed demand financial lifeline from Government

Ministers are coming under pressure to provide a financial lifeline to millions of self-employed whose incomes have dried up as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

Some MPs have warned that Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s unprecedented plan to underwrite the wages of workers who faced being laid off as activity collapses did nothing for the army of freelancers, contractors and the self-employed.

Former Conservative cabinet minister David Davis said the economy could suffer a near “fatal seizure” if they were not protected.

However, Treasury Chief Secretary Stephen Barclay said ministers were concentrating on measures which could be rolled out quickly to keep the economy going.

Experts warned that assessing the incomes of self-employed people who are outside the PAYE system would be difficult and would take time to work out.

Trade unions and employers’ organisations broadly welcomed Mr Sunak announcement on Friday that the State would pay up to 80 percent of the wages of employees, up to £2,500 a month, if firms agreed to keep them on.


Germany has reported a surge in coronavirus cases (Image: GETTY)

9.48am update: Germany reports surge in coronavirus cases

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany has risen by 2,705 within a day to reach 16,662, the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases has announced.

It said a total of 47 people had died after testing positive, an increase of 16 from a death toll of 31 published yesterday.

Coronavirus London

London is like a ghost town because of the coronavirus crisis (Image: PA)

9.12am update: Singapore records first coronavirus deaths

Singapore has reported two coronavirus-related deaths – the city-state’s first fatalities from the infection.

The patients who died were a 75-year-old Singaporean woman and a 64-year-old Indonesian man, the health minstry said in a statement.

Singapore, widely praised for its fastidious control of the virus, has confirmed 385 cases of the infection and had so far managed to avoid any fatalities since the outbreak began in there in late January.

The deaths were announced amid growing fears that is set to sweep across Asia.

Coronavirus live

Singapore has reported its first coronavirus deaths (Image: GETTY)

8.30am update: Japan’s coronavirus infections pass 1,000

Japanese health authorities have announced the number of domestically transmitted cases of coronavirus has risen to 1,016.

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