FROM live sports returning, to prominent scientists expressing concern about the easing of lockdown, here is a roundup of the key coronavirus news points from the last 24-hours.

  • A further seven people have died in hospitals across the North-East and North Yorkshire after testing positive for coronavirus. This brings the region's recorded coronavirus death toll up to 1,613 as of 5pm on Friday, May 29. Nationally, NHS England has announced 146 new deaths of people who tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals in England to 26,529. Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said 38,376 people had died in hospitals, care homes and the wider community after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK as of 5pm on Friday, up by 215 from 38,161 the day before. In the 24-hour period up to 9am on Saturday, 127,722 tests were carried out or dispatched with 2,445 positive results.Overall, a total of 4,171,408 tests have been carried out and 272,826 cases have been confirmed positive.

The Northern Echo:

A busy hospital ward as healthcare professionals treat coronavirus patients

  • A growing number of expert advisers to the Government on the coronavirus crisis have expressed concern about plans to ease lockdown restrictions in England from Monday. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that from Monday in England, friends and families can meet in parks and gardens in socially distanced groups of six. However, Professor Peter Horby, of the University of Oxford, joined scientists Sir Jeremy Farrar and Professor John Edmunds, all members of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), to warn that ministers are taking risks. Asked if he agrees it is too soon to ease more of the lockdown, Prof Horby told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "Actually, I do. We have still got 8,000 cases a day."

The Northern Echo:

Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Secretary Oliver Dowden Picture: PA

  • Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Secretary Oliver Dowden said the Government wanted to "re-establish some normality in other parts of our lives" as he announced the return of live sport. He told the Downing Street daily briefing: "For more than two months after sport stopped and after weeks of round-the-clock discussions with medical experts and professional sports bodies, I'm delighted to announce today that the Government has published guidance which allows competitive sport to resume behind closed doors from Monday at the earliest." He said that: "Football, tennis, horseracing, Formula 1, cricket, golf, rugby, snooker and others are all set to return to our screens shortly."The Northern Echo:

Football is among the sports that will be returning

  • An empty supermarket site could be converted for use as a coronavirus testing centre. The Sainsbury’s development at Middlehaven, Middlesbrough, has remained unused since the store chain abandoned plans to open on the site, in 2015. Earlier during the coronavirus outbreak, Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen suggested it could prove an ideal location for a North-East Nightingale Hospital, to relieve the strain on existing hospitals in tackling the influx of Covid-19 infected patients. His call was backed by Cleveland’s Chief Constable Richard Lewis. But a vacant research site next to the Nissan motor manufacturing plant on Wearside was subsequently chosen for the North-East’s Nightingale Hospital, since developed and opened, albeit having, so far, remained unused.

The Northern Echo:

There is concern about schools opening on Monday 

An education union has called for the Government to "draw back" from reopening primary schools in England from Monday. National Education Union (NEU) joint general secretaries Kevin Courtney and Dr Mary Bousted spoke out after four members of the Government's Sage scientific advisory committee expressed concerns about the pace of easing of lockdown. In a statement, they said: "This public break by four prominent members of the Government's Sage committee changes everything. No-one can now confidently assert that it is safe to open schools more widely from Monday."