The UK's coronavirus death toll passed 50,000 and the country was warned to be braced for "many job losses" as the human and economic cost of the outbreak became clearer.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson insisted he was "very proud" of the Government's record despite the grim milestone on Covid-related deaths and his admission that large-scale redundancies were "inevitable".

He said the Government would take an "interventionist" approach to support the economy as it emerges from the lockdown. At the daily Downing Street press conference, Mr Johnson acknowledged the scale of the challenge he faces.

  • The Prime Minister has suggested he wants to reduce the two-metre social distancing rule despite his chief medical adviser warning the restriction will continue for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic. Chief medical officer for England Professor Chris Whitty listed a series of measures needed to reduce transmission of the virus at an "individual level". These included washing hands, "good cough etiquette", the use of face cloths and the two-metre rule.
  • A further two people have died after testing positive for coronavirus in the North-East and North Yorkshire. Figures published on Wednesday afternoon confirmed the region's hospital death toll had risen to 1,642 deaths since the outbreak began. The figures are this weeks' lowest day-on-day increases in the number of Covid-19 patient deaths. A spokesperson for NHS England said: "A further 179 people, who tested positive for the Coronavirus (Covid-19) have died, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals in England to 27,044.
  • Some 135,643 coronavirus tests were carried out in the 24 hours up to 9am on Tuesday - including 30,357 antibody tests, Downing Street has said. The Government was again unable to provide figures for the number of people tested due to an issue with reporting across the different testing strands. "As soon as that is resolved they will go back to giving you a figure for the number of people tested each day," the Prime Minister's official spokesman said.
  • More than two in five primary schools in England did not open their doors to more children on Monday, a survey suggests.A poll from the National Education Union has found large regional differences on the number of schools reopening to pupils in reception, Year 1 and Year 6. Overall, 44% of primary schools did not admit more children on June 1 - but in north-west England, only 8% of schools opened to all priority year groups on Monday, according to the NEU survey.
  • Three Metropolitan Police staff have died after testing positive for Covid-19, the force's commissioner has revealed. Dame Cressida Dick told the London Assembly police and crime committee: "Very sadly, we have lost three police staff colleagues, apparently to Covid, in this time period." She also said there were more than 900 assaults on police staff and officers between March 20 and May 31, including 100 attacks involving spitting or coughing where coronavirus was used as a threat.
  • The Cabinet will continue to meet virtually despite the return of MPs to Westminster, Number 10 said. The Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "Cabinet this week was conducted via video conference. It is not possible for all of the members of the Cabinet to meet in the Cabinet Room and for social distancing to be observed. "So for now it will continue under video conferencing."
  • Children's Commissioner for England Anne Longfield has warned that shops reopening and a good spell of weather could distract children from doing their school work at home amid lengthy closures. She told a Virtual Education Select Committee: "We looked at figures of kids not going online that was before their parents went back to work, and before the sun came out for any length of time, and frankly before other things became more interesting. The shops will be open soon and kids could have spent two and a half months browsing Primark, but not been in school, so the other things that will actually be distractions will become more and more."
  • Home Secretary Priti Patel confirmed plans for people arriving in the UK from overseas to undergo a 14-day quarantine period from Monday.
  • Research indicated a rare syndrome in children linked to Covid-19 affects youngsters with African heritage more than those who are white.
  • Prof Whitty said it was the "unanimous view" of the UK's four chief medical officers that the coronavirus alert level should remain at four.