HERE'S everything you need to know about the pandemic. 

  • The Government said a further 10 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Thursday, bringing the UK total to 127,758. Separate figures published by the Office for National Statistics show there have now been 153,000 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate. The Government also said that, as of 9am on Thursday, there had been a further 3,542 lab-confirmed cases in the UK. It brings the total to 4,473,677.
  • The number of workers on furlough has fallen to its lowest level this year, according to data. Just 8 per cent of the total workforce – around 2.2 million employees – were receiving cash under the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme as large swathes of the economy reopened. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) also found that online job adverts were above pre-pandemic levels, according to data from Adzuna, with significant spikes in warehouse, transport and logistics positions.
  • The link between Covid-19 cases, hospital admissions and deaths is being “severed” but it is too early to say whether the June 21 lifting of restrictions will go ahead, Matt Hancock said. The Health Secretary told MPs that on Wednesday there were 3,180 new cases of coronavirus, which is “the highest since April 12”, but that vaccines were working. He said it was “too early now to say, yet, whether we can take the full step four on June 21” but added that he “desperately” wants to. Mr Hancock was appearing in the Commons to answer questions regarding former aide Dominic Cumming’s evidence on the Government’s handling of the pandemic.
  • The Government did everything it could to minimise Covid transmission, the Prime Minister has insisted, as he faced questions on why people were discharged from hospital to care homes with no test. Boris Johnson said that what happened in care homes last year “was tragic” as he responded to media questions following a claim by his former top aide Dominic Cummings that the idea that a protective shield was thrown around care homes was “nonsense”. 
  • Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove said the benefits of Covid status certification – so-called domestic “vaccine passports” – had to be set against the “hassle factor” of implementing them. The UK has been examining the Israeli “green pass” model, which has recently been suspended due to the high uptake of vaccinations in the country. Mr Gove said vaccine passports could help “economic and social life … return more quickly”.