Coronavirus live blog as it happened: expert claims coronavirus spread in UK is slowing and Prince Charles exits self-isolation

Follow the latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak in our live blog below

Monday, 30th March 2020, 7:55 am
Updated Monday, 30th March 2020, 6:11 pm

Scroll down and read our coronavirus live blog as it happens.

Before you do that here are some articles offering practical advice:

The empty M6 motorway from junction 18, near Middlewich, north west England, as life in Britain continues during the nationwide lockdown to combat the novel coronavirus pandemic (Photo: PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
(Image: WHO)

We will be providing live updates until 7pm this evening.

Coronavirus live blog, March 30

Last updated: Monday, 30 March, 2020, 18:05

9,000 people being being treated for coronavirus in England

Simon Stevens, the head of NHS England has been speaking to BBC. 

He said: "Today there are over 9,000 positive coronavirus patients in hospitals across England and we know that number is only going to increase.

"That’s why what you see here is a mass mobilisation, taking place right across the country, but also at these new Nightingale hospitals.

"This has been an extraordinary team effort on the part of nurses and doctors and therapists and pharmacists across London, but also volunteers and paramedics and people returning to help.

"And when these services are needed, they will be available beginning later this week, and because this is a global health emergency we’re actually seeing similar types of hospitals being established in Berlin and Madrid and New York.”

Red Bull chief wanted to purposely infect drivers

Manchester Arena bombing enquiry postponed

A public enquiry into the Manchester Arena bombing has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Chairman of the inquiry Sir John Saunders said: "While nothing appears to be certain about the progress of the virus, it is likely that gatherings of large numbers of people in close proximity will not be permitted by June 2020 as it would cause a significant risk to health. 

"The only way that the hearings could be conducted then would be by video link. There is considerable opposition to that approach as it would limit the active participation in particular of the bereaved families, who wish to have the ability to attend in person if they wish to do so.

“A number of the bereaved families also raise the importance of the commemorations taking place at the beginning of the Inquiry’s evidence hearings through the giving of pen portrait evidence. The bereaved families have a strong preference for their pen portrait evidence being given directly to those who wish to attend the hearing. 

"There is considerable and understandable concern that it will be harder to conduct that aspect of the Inquiry should the hearings only be held by video link.”

Dominic Raab to lead daily press briefing at 5pm

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is to present today's daily press briefing at 5pm. 

Stay tuned for live updates

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Dominic Raab is speaking

The Foreign Secretary is speaking now.

He reitaerates that we must stay at home to protect the most vulnerable and the NHS.

He also pays tribute to the "amazing doctors and amazing nurses" as well as other "key workers". 

He says that this is a national effort and the "spirit of selflessness" is an inspiration. 

Government working around the clock to support stranded travellers

He now turns his attention to efforts to repatriate Brits around the world. 

"Coronavirus hasn't just challenged us at home, it is the greatest global challenge in a generation. And as the countries close their borders and work to stem the spread of the virus we appreciate that an unprecedented number of UK travellers are trying to get home."

He says many travellers haven't yet managed to get back home, "from young backpackers to retired couples on cruises".

"I want to assure them [worried families] that this government is working around the clock to support advise and to help" those trying to get home.

He says the government are working closely with foreign ministers, airlines and more. 

He claims that they have already assisted 100,000s of Brits in returning home. 

£75m support fund to organise chartered flights

Government have agreed a deal with airlines to return home passengers where commerical flights are no longer possible. 

Partner airlines include British Airway, Virgin, EasyJet, Jet2 and Titan. 

Flights will be arranged from another of "targeted countries" starting this week. 

Where commercial routes remain an option airlines will be responsible for getting passengers home. Where commercial flights are no longer running the government will offer financial assistance for charter flights in order to bring UK nationals back home. 

The government have designated £75m to support those flights and airlines in order to keep the costs down and affordable. The priority will be the most vulnerable and will in particular be focused on countries with large number of British tourists struggling to return home.

On the same path as France

Chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance is speaking now. 

He says that measures introduced have been successful in reducing contact. 

He explains that 8,000 people have been admitted to hospital with coronavirus and that in recent days that gone up in a "constant amoun"t rather than an" increasing amount" suggesting that we're starting to see the positive impact of social distancing. 

Slightly under half of those cases are in London, but we're seeing cases throughout the UK. He reiterates the stay at home message is true everywhere in the UK.

He adds: "we expect this to get worse over the next couple of weeks because there's a lag phase between people getting the disease and people turning u in hospital, so we should expect" an increase over the next two or three weeks and then a stabilisation and a gradual decrease thereafter. 

He suggests we're not on a fast acceleration at the moment. 

He suggests that we're on a similar path to France, behind Italy and Spain. The Measures we're taking will reduce the number of cases, the number of people needing to go onto ventilators and the number of deaths. 

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