Coronavirus: The 17 major developments that happened on Wednesday

Yahoo News UK

Here’s what you need to know on 13 May. This article was updated at 5pm.

Deaths: The number of people who have died in the UK after testing positive for coronavirus has risen to 33,186 – an increase of 494 over 24 hours. The figures include deaths in hospitals, care homes and the community, and cover the period up to 5pm on Tuesday. Read more here.

Boris Johnson has been accused of ending the publication of international comparisons of COVID-19 deaths because of the UK hitting top place in Europe. Sir Keir Starmer said it was "obvious" the government had stopped talking publicly about the figures because they showed the UK was in an "unenviable place". Read more here.

A teenage boy with no underlying health conditions has died from a Kawasaki-like disease linked to coronavirus. The 14-year-old was part of a cluster of eight cases treated at the Evelina London Children's Hospital over a 10-day period in April. Read more here.

Politics: Boris Johnson has wrongly denied the government said people in care homes were “unlikely” to get infected with the coronavirus. Labour leader Keir Starmer pointed out to Johnson during Prime Minister’s Questions that the government once said care home residents were not expected to contract the virus. Read more here.

Policy: From Wednesday, anyone in England who needs to move house can do so if they follow new government guidelines. Robert Jenrick announced the changes to the policy, which had prevented thousands of house moves since the beginning of lockdown in March, during the government daily briefing.

Lockdown rules have changed in England on Wednesday to allow people to exercise an unlimited number of times per day and meet people who don’t live in the same household in a park, as long as they maintain a two-metre distance. The rules have not changed in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland. Read more here.

Reports of some packed buses and Tube trains have led a union boss to criticise the government’s attempt to get workers back to their jobs as “fraught with danger”. Transport secretary Grant Shapps has warned the government would “take steps” if too many people used buses and trains, but the RMT union’s Mike Cash said social distancing appeared to have been “impossible”. Read more here.

Garden centres and golf courses also reopened on Wednesday during lockdown easing. People in England can now play some sports, including tennis, with other members of their household. Read more here.

Education: All schoolchildren who show symptoms of coronavirus will be able get a COVID-19 test when pupils return to the classroom, the education secretary has said. Gavin Williamson told MPs tests would be made available for all symptomatic pupils and teachers when schools begin to reopen as early as 1 June. Read more here.

Schools could also open over the summer holidays to help children catch up. The education secretary was responding to Robert Halfon, Conservative chairman of the Education Select Committee, who proposed “some schools” be opened over the summer “to be staffed by volunteers, graduates, an army of retired teachers to provide catch up tuition to these children who have been left behind”. Read more here.

Crime: Fines for people breaking social distancing guidelines are “very rare”, according to London’s top police chief. Speaking on the day that saw a relaxation of some lockdown measures, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said the majority of people in England were adhering to the rules. Read more here.

Finance: UK economic output declined by 2% in the first three months of 2020, its fastest quarterly contraction since the 2008 financial crisis, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The quarter-on-quarter contraction in gross domestic product (GDP), which was slightly better than the 2.5% analysts had forecast, demonstrates the first direct effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Read more here.

Business: Some McDonald’s customers hoping for a Big Mac after weeks of lockdown have been left disappointed after huge demand left orders unable to be fulfilled. The fast-food chain has reopened 15 branches for delivery, but just minutes after the fryers went on in McDonald’s branches in Chelmsford, Essex, on Wednesday morning, customers were faced with technical hitches and a lack of food at their doors. Read more here.

Rest of the world

The number of people dying from the coronavirus pandemic in Mexico is five times higher than official government figures, according to health department insiders. Sky News reports the capital, Mexico City, is barely implementing social distancing despite the pandemic. Read more here.

Germany, Europe’s largest economy, which has been all but sealed off for two months from most of its neighbours, will start opening its borders again from this Friday (15 May). Interior minister Horst Seehofer told journalists in Berlin on Wednesday that border crossings with Austria, France, Switzerland, Luxembourg and perhaps also Denmark will be the first to reopen. The goal, Seehofer said, is to reopen all borders to neighbouring countries by the middle of June. Read more here.

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Positive news

Twitter has announced that its employees can choose to continue working from home “forever” after the coronavirus crisis eases. The social media site said staff would also be able to go back to the office if they prefer when it reopens, as the company looks towards a post-COVID-19 future. Read more here.

Mother-of-two Amy Vickers, 27, has fitted a Perspex window in her fence so her children Arlo and Arabella Devonport can hang out with their neighbour’s child Leo, three, who lives next door. Read more here.

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