/Coronavirus map LIVE: Rishi Sunak formulates bold bailout plan to save UK companies

Coronavirus map LIVE: Rishi Sunak formulates bold bailout plan to save UK companies

The Chancellor has put forward ‘Project Birch’ in order to save certain companies who are facing spiralling debt levels. Aviation, steel firms and aerospace companies have all been earmarked as the industries which could be protected. According to the Financial Times, the core principles would be to rescue companies which may harm the economy if they were to go bust. This comes as Boris Johnson is expected to announce a further relaxation of lockdown measures as the UK moves towards the next phase of the Prime Minister’s exit strategy. Ahead of that announcement, some Tory MPs have now called for Dominic Cummings to resign after he was accused of travelling to Durham from his home in London in April. 

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Former chair of the European Research Group and MP for Wycombe, Steve Baker stated Mr Cummings “must go” following the revelations over the weekend. 

Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer also criticised Mr Johnson’s decision not to sack his aide. 

He said: “This was a huge test of the prime minister and he has just failed that test.

“Millions of people across the country have made the most agonising choices – not visiting relatives, not going to funerals – they deserve better answers than they got from the prime minister.”

Mr Johnson also stated on Sunday schools in England will begin to reopen on June 1. 

Pupils from year 1 to Year 6 will return to school while on June 15, a quarter of Year 10 and Year 12 students will be able to return in some manner to prepare for exams. 

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Coronavirus Map Live: Rishi Sunak sets out bold bailout plan

Coronavirus Map Live: Rishi Sunak sets out bold bailout plan (Image: GETTY)

8.58am update: fears over negative tests for NHS staff 

Three in ten negative coronavirus tests may be wrong a doctor’s union has warned. 

The Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association (HCSA) said it fears 20-30 percent of tests were giving NHS staff false-negative results. 

In a letter to Duncan Selbie Chief Executive Public Health England, Dr Paul Donaldson stated his fear over the tests. 

In the letter seen by The Daily Telegraph, Ms Donaldson said: “A wall of silence seems to have been erected around the issue, with only the occasional claim or hint emerging regarding the current testing regime. 

“Separately, statements by PHE officials and others place the incidence of false negatives somewhere between 20 and 30 percent.

“If confirmed, this is a worryingly high rate which raises the prospect of many infected individuals, possibly without symptoms, being passed fit to return to healthcare settings where they will transmit SARS-CoV-2 to colleagues and patients.”

8.27am update: Gavin Williamson admits reopening schools was incredibly hard

Speaking today, Mr Williamson said the reopening of schools, which will begin in a phased manner from next week, was one of “the most difficult” decision he’s ever had to take. 

He said: “I know that there’s such importance in terms of children being able to get their education.”

8.10am update: Germany reports 289 new cases 

Germany has reported a further 289 infections and 10 deaths from COVID-19. 

According to statistics, Germany has now reported 180,328 cases combined with 8,371 deaths. 

Stages of UK lockdown

Stages of UK lockdown (Image: Express)

8.04am update: China emerges as front runner for vaccine development 

China is leading the way in the race for a vaccine for COVID-19. 

According to data seen by The Sunday Telegraph, of the 224 vaccines in development across the world, 10 have progressed to human trials. 

In the date collected by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, six of those 10 are Chinese companies. 

One has now progressed to the second stage and is being developed by the Chinese biotech firm CanSino Biologics and the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology.

7.58am update: New Zeland to allow gatherings of up to 100 

New Zealand has unveiled plans for gatherings of up to 100 people, Prime  Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced. 

In April, Ms Adren has stated the virus had been eliminated and therefore began lifting lockdown measures. 

7.41am update: Rishi Sunak plans bailout plan

Under ‘Project Birch’, Mr Sunak has increased the ability of the Treasury to be able to create specific plans to help certain countries in the UK. 

The plan has been put forward in order to rescue companies which would otherwise go out of business and thus harm the UK economy. 

The Treasury told the Financial Times: ” In exceptional circumstances, where a viable company has exhausted all options and its failure would disproportionately harm the economy, we may consider support on a ‘last resort’ basis. 

“As the British public would expect, we are putting in place sensible contingency planning and any such support would be on terms that protect the taxpayer.”

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