Here are today’s updates regarding the Covid-19 pandemic in the UK and around the world.

  • The UK coronavirus death toll now stands at 39,904, a rise of 176 fatalities in the last 24 hours.
  • There have now been 281,661 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK, a daily rise of 1,805.
  • Face coverings will be mandatory on public transport in England from 15 June to help stop the transmission of coronavirus as more people go back to work, Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, has said. People will be required to wear face coverings on buses, trains, tubes and other modes of public transport from that date or face the risk of fines.
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson has told the British public not to move outdoor gatherings inside ahead of expected wet and cooler weather this weekend.
  • Business Secretary Alok Sharma has been tested for coronavirus and is self-isolating at home. He appeared visibly unwell whilst speaking at the despatch box in the House of Commons on Wednesday afternoon. It has emerged that Sharma held a 45-minute meeting with the prime minister and the chancellor yesterday but a No 10 spokesperson said that social distancing was in place.
  • Face masks may become mandatory in Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has warned. The message comes as anecdotal evidence suggests many people in Scotland are disregarding guidance to wear them in enclosed public spaces.
  • Up to 90% of primary schools in some areas of England remain closed, according to figures seen by The Guardian. Pupils in nursery, reception, and Years 1 and 6 were told to return to school on Monday.
  • Hairdressers and barber shops in England will not open before July “at the earliest”, the government has confirmed. Downing Street were responding to reports in the media that hairdressers could be allowed to open this month, but the prime ministers spokesperson denied this.
  • The World Health Organization has announced that the trial of hydroxychloroquine for potential use as against coronavirus will resume. The study was previously stopped due to health concerns for patients.
  • A senior Sage member has said countries must “learn lessons from the first wave” of the coronavirus outbreak to be better prepared in the future. Jeremy Farrar warned that “over 90% of people have not seen yet this infection and are probably still susceptible to it.”
  • Tens of thousands of Covid-19 tests sent to a US laboratory have been voided due to the way they were processed, The Telegraph reports. Nearly 30,000 Britons have had to be retested, at a cost of “hundreds of thousands of pounds” to the taxpaye