In a letter in the British Medical Journal, 14 senior academics have warned the Prime Minister the tests could, in fact, place further burden on the NHS. The antibody tests were once deemed as crucial due to the ability to identify if someone has had the virus or not. Due to this, the Government ordered 10 million antibody test kits. However, the academics have insisted as the tests cannot prove whether a person has future immunity, they, therefore, offer no benefit to hospitals or care staff. This comes as the Prime Minister relaxed further measures across England from July 4.
This week the Prime Minister revealed pubs, restaurants and cinemas would now be able to reopen from next week.
Although certain safety measures will be put in place such as wearing face masks, the news will be a huge boost to the UK economy after over three months in lockdown.
Two households will also be able to meet in any setting although social distancing is still advised.
Following a review, the Prime Minister also stated that where it is not possible, a distance of one metre plus must be kept.
He did add, however, that these measures would be under constant review and could be rescinded if the rate of infection rises.
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8.41am update: Crisis in the Americas hasn’t peaked
The World Health Organisation has warned the pandemic has not peaked in much of the Americas yet.
Emergencies director, Michael Ryan said: “It’s particularly intense in Central and South America.
“We’ve seen a steady and worrying continuation of trend, with many countries experiencing between a 25 and 50% rise in cases over the last week.”
This comes after Brazil passed one million confirmed cases of the virus last week.
8.31am update: Royal Mail cuts jobs
The Royal Mail is to cut 2,000 management jobs as it struggles to deal with the effects of the coronavirus crisis.
7.55am update: UK Government plans for all pupils to return by September
Social distancing will not be applied in schools and the bubbles will be expanded to allow or pupils to return to full-time classes in September.
According to The Daily Telegraph, the two-metre social distancing rule will not be expected within school buildings.
As per primary schools, children will be placed into bubbles although schools will be asked to limit the extent pupils mix.
7.43am update: UK council fear bankruptcy
Five councils across the UK have asked for emergency funding from the Government or they could face a huge budget black hole the BBC has reported.
Nearly 150 councils have forecast a combined budget shortfall of £3.2billion.
Five English councils have demanded emergency spending controls will be needed to survive.
The Government has already issued £3.2billion in funding to all English council to soften the blow from the virus.
7.35am update: Boris Johnson given antibody test warning
Despite being hailed as a crucial element of the Government’s recovery plan, academics have penned a joint letter in the British Medical Journal insisting there may be no use for the tests.
In the letter, the test cannot show future immunity to the virus and thus is no use for medical and care staff.
They said: “The concept of ‘immune passports,’ allowing healthcare workers or others to work, has not been established.
“Those with a positive antibody test should still consider themselves at risk and follow infection control policies designed to prevent [in-hospital] spread and risk of infection.
“There is, therefore, no benefit to healthcare organisations or to others in knowing the status of employees at present.”
The Department for Health and Social Care said: “We do not currently know how long an antibody response to the virus lasts, nor whether having antibodies means a person cannot transmit it to others.
“But they reiterated that antibody testing “will play an increasingly important role as we move into the next phase of our response to this pandemic.”