Government remains confident as coronavirus ‘R’ value creeps up

The Government remains confident that the reproductive rate of coronavirus is still under one, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said, as new figures suggest it has crept up.

The so-called R-number – which is the average number of people that will contract coronavirus from an infected person – is now between 0.7 and 1.0 in England, according to Government scientific advisers.

The rise in the figure is thought to be driven by the virus spreading in care homes and hospitals rather than the wider community, but previous data put it at between 05 and 0.9.

There is a time lag in the calculations, with the latest R value relating to what was happening two to three weeks ago.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson's top aide Dominic Cummings leaves his north London home as the row over his trip to Durham during lockdown continues. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 28, 2020: NHS staff stage a silent protest outside the gates of Downing Street during the weekly 'Clap for our Carers' applause for the NHS and key workers on the front line of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic on 28 May, 2020 in London, England.- PHOTOGRAPH BY Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Studios / Future Publishing (Photo credit should read Wiktor Szymanowicz/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
Former nurse Joan Rich, 101, walks through Allenby Park in Felixstowe, Suffolk, to raise money for NHS Charities Together. Mrs Rich, who uses a frame to aid her walking, aims to walk 102 laps of the park before her 102nd birthday on 11 September. (Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)
A woman, Tina Jane from Shoreham, sings songs out the back of her car to entertain the people that live on her street after the Clap for Carers, as the UK continues to ease out of lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus.
LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 28: People enjoy the warm and sunny weather relaxing on the pavement outside their homes in the Shorefields area of Liverpool during the Coronavirus pandemic lockdown on May 28, 2020 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. The British government continues to ease the coronavirus lockdown by announcing schools will open to reception year pupils plus years one and six from June 1st. Open-air markets and car showrooms can also open from the same date. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 28: Fire and explosion damage can be seen on an EE network 5G mast that was attacked by an arsonist earlier this week in Brodie Avenue on May 28, 2020 in Liverpool, England. A lot of the damage was caused by the resulting explosion when the petrol was ignited. Several phone masts have been deliberately damaged around the UK, their attackers inspired by a conspiracy theory positing that 5G technology is linked to the spread of the coronavirus. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
People buy fresh fruit and vegetables from a stall in an outdoor street market in Walthamstow, east London on May 28, 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic. - Britain has suffered the highest death rate from the coronavirus among the most-affected countries with comparable tracking data, according to Financial Times research published Thursday. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
Cleaner James York from First Bus cleans a bus at their Larbert depot ahead of the bus returning to service. Due to social distancing measures only a certain amount of people will be able to travel on a particular bus at a certain time after the introduction of measures to bring the country out of lockdown. (Photo by Andrew Milligan/PA Images via Getty Images)
A man wearing a protective mask strolls across a bridge in central London, Tuesday, May 26, 2020, during hot weather following the gradual easing of the COVID-19 lockdown, allowing more outdoor recreation and letting some shops and businesses reopen. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
GLASGOW - MAY 27: Members of the public walk past new graffiti on Clyde Street on May 27, 2020 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. The British government continues to ease the coronavirus lockdown by announcing schools will open to reception year pupils plus years one and six from June 1st. Open-air markets and car showrooms can also open from the same date. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
People walk along Portobello Road Market in London, Wednesday, May 27, 2020. Following the gradual easing of the COVID-19 lockdown, street markets will be allowed to reopen in Britain from Monday onwards. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Shop owners wait for customers and prepare at Sherpherd's Bush Market in London, Wednesday, May 27, 2020. Following the gradual easing of the COVID-19 lockdown, street markets will be allowed to reopen in Britain from Monday onwards. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Dominic Cummings, the chief advisor to Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, arrives at Downing Street in London, Wednesday, May 27, 2020. The prime minister's populist appeal has been hammered by news that, as the coronavirus outbreak raged, chief adviser Cummings drove 250 miles (400 kilometers) to his parents' house while he was falling ill with suspected COVID-19 — allegedly flouting lockdown rules that the government had imposed on the rest of the country. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
A workman removes graffiti from a wall near the north London home of the Prime Minister's top aide Dominic Cummings as the row over his Durham trip during the coronavirus lockdown continues.
A sign displaying advice on social distancing is displayed at the beach in Weston-super-Mare, south west England on May 27, 2020, as lockdown measures are eased during the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP) (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)
CHEAM, ENGLAND - MAY 27: AFC Wimbledon Footballer Jack Rudoni trains at home during the Coronavirus Pandemic on May 27, 2020 in Cheam, England. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Cleaner James York from First Bus cleans a bus at their Larbert depot ahead of the bus returning to service. Due to social distancing measures only a certain amount of people will be able to travel on a particular bus at a certain time after the introduction of measures to bring the country out of lockdown. (Photo by Andrew Milligan/PA Images via Getty Images)
Number 10 special advisor Dominic Cummings leaves his residence in north London on May 26, 2020. - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's top adviser Domonic Cummings said yesterday he acted "reasonably and legally" despite mounting pressure on him to resign for allegedly breaking coronavirus lockdown rules. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2020/05/25: A man sunbathes in London on a very hot and sunny day. The UK government has started to ease the coronavirus lockdown allowing people to spend more time outdoors. (Photo by Steve Taylor/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
CILFYNYDD, WALES - MAY 26: A general view of a car sales showroom which is currently closed for business on May 26, 2020 in Blackwood, United Kingdom. The British government continues to ease the coronavirus lockdown by announcing schools will open to reception year pupils plus years one and six from June 1st. Open-air markets and car showrooms can also open from the same date. (Photo by Huw Fairclough/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 24: Social Distancing measures are seen on a Bakerloo line tube train on May 24 2020 in London, England. The prime minister announced the general contours of a phased exit from the current lockdown, adopted nearly two months ago in an effort curb the spread of Covid-19. (Photo by Peter Summers/Getty Images)
Team GB taekwondo athlete Lutalo Muhammad trains at his home in Walthamstow, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), London, Britain, May 24, 2020. REUTERS/Paul Childs TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
The Young Westminster Foundation (YWF), a charity that supports young people in the Westminster Borough, unveil their new and original digital artwork by the graffiti artist STIK on the Piccadilly Lights screen, at Piccadilly Circus, central London. (Photo by Jonathan Brady/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2020/05/24: A view of a coronavirus awareness mural and a tribute to NHS workers drawn on a wall during the coronavirus crisis. (Photo by Dave Rushen/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 24, 2020 - Coronavirus: pavement stickers indicating the correct social distancing whilst queuing- PHOTOGRAPH BY Matthew Chattle / Barcroft Studios / Future Publishing (Photo credit should read Matthew Chattle/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
PORTHCAWL, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 25: A surfer in the water at Sandy Bay on May 25, 2020 in Porthcawl, United Kingdom. The British government has started easing the lockdown it imposed two months ago to curb the spread of Covid-19, abandoning its 'stay at home' slogan in favour of a message to 'be alert', but UK countries have varied in their approaches to relaxing quarantine measures. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 24: Chief Advisor to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Dominic Cummings arrives home on May 24, 2020 in London, England. On March 31st 2020 Downing Street confirmed to journalists that Dominic Cummings was self-isolating with COVID-19 symptoms at his home in North London. Durham police have confirmed that he was actually hundreds of miles away at his parent's house in the city. (Photo by Peter Summers/Getty Images)
A police officer talks to a protester outside the north London home of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's senior aide Dominic Cummings , as lockdown questions continue to bombard the Government after it emerged that he travelled to his parents' home despite coronavirus-related restrictions. (Photo by Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images)
Mounted police patrol Barry Island, Wales, where the stay at home message is still in force and only essential travel is allowed. (Photo by Ben Birchall/PA Images via Getty Images)
A Long Eaton (Derbyshire) resident and NHS worker presents a Tribute and Memorial to the dedicated members of the NHS and Social Care family who gave their lives during the fight against COVID-19. (Photo by Scott Wilson/PA Images via Getty Images)
SALISBURY, ENGLAND - MAY 24: Team GB Olympic Trap Shooter Augusta Campos-Martyn trains at her home on May 24, 2020 in Salisbury, England. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)
A man feeds a swan in Hyde Park, London, after the introduction of measures to bring the country out of lockdown. (Photo by Kirsty O'Connor/PA Images via Getty Images)
People sit in their vehicles as they wait at a KFC in Killingworth North Tyneside, after the introduction of measures to bring the country out of lockdown. (Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images)
BIGBURY-ON-SEA, ENGLAND - MAY 23: An NHS heart is drawn in the sand at Bigbury Beach on May 23, 2020 in Bigbury-on-Sea, England. The British government has started easing the lockdown it imposed two months ago to curb the spread of Covid-19, abandoning its 'stay at home' slogan in favour of a message to 'be alert', but UK countries have varied in their approaches to relaxing quarantine measures. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
BIGBURY-ON-SEA, ENGLAND - MAY 23: Kitesurfers enjoy the windy conditions at Bigbury Beach on May 23, 2020 in Bigbury-on-Sea, England. The British government has started easing the lockdown it imposed two months ago to curb the spread of Covid-19, abandoning its 'stay at home' slogan in favour of a message to 'be alert', but UK countries have varied in their approaches to relaxing quarantine measures. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
A woman sits alone on a bench under a tree at the top of Cissbury Ring, Worthing, after the introduction of measures to bring the country out of lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Two women walk through a heavy rain shower in St James's Park in central London, on the first day of the Bank Holiday weekend, as people flock to parks and beaches with lockdown measures eased.
A view of a near empty beach in Brighton as the hot weather cools following scenes of people flocking to parks and beaches this week as lockdown measures were eased.
Shoppers wearing protective masks in a farmers market in West Ealing, London during the coronavirus crisis. Photo date: Saturday, May 23, 2020. Photo credit should read: Richard Gray/EMPICS
People sit in their vehicles as they wait at a KFC in Killingworth North Tyneside, after the introduction of measures to bring the country out of lockdown.
Kitesurfer and windsurfers in Bowleaze Cove in distance in Weymouth, Dorset
Surfers in Bowleaze Cove in Weymouth, Dorset
Member of the public taking a walk along the seafront in Swanage, Dorset
Painted stones in support of the NHS in Swanage, Dorset
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 21, 2020: Paramedics and local residents clap their hands outside Chelsea and Westminster Hospital during the weekly 'Clap for our Carers' applause for the NHS and key workers on the front line of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic as the UK's nationwide lockdown continues for the ninth week on 21 May, 2020 in London, England.- PHOTOGRAPH BY Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Studios / Future Publishing (Photo credit should read Wiktor Szymanowicz/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 21, 2020: Nurses clap their hands outside Chelsea and Westminster Hospital during the weekly 'Clap for our Carers' applause for the NHS and key workers on the front line of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic as the UK's nationwide lockdown continues for the ninth week on 21 May, 2020 in London, England.- PHOTOGRAPH BY Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Studios / Future Publishing (Photo credit should read Wiktor Szymanowicz/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
Members of the public participate in a national "clap for carers" to show thanks for the work of Britain's NHS (National Health Service) workers and other frontline medical staff around the country as they battle with the novel coronavirus pandemic, at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London on May 21, 2020. - The British government on on May 21 announced that foreign care workers would be exempt from a charge imposed on migrants to fund the health service, after an outcry sparked by the coronavirus outbreak. (Photo by Niklas HALLE'N / AFP) (Photo by NIKLAS HALLE'N/AFP via Getty Images)
Members of the public participate in a national "clap for carers" to show thanks for the work of Britain's NHS (National Health Service) workers and other frontline medical staff around the country as they battle with the novel coronavirus pandemic, at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London on May 21, 2020. - The British government on on May 21 announced that foreign care workers would be exempt from a charge imposed on migrants to fund the health service, after an outcry sparked by the coronavirus outbreak. (Photo by Niklas HALLE'N / AFP) (Photo by NIKLAS HALLE'N/AFP via Getty Images)
Staff outside Abbeydale Court Care Home in Hamilton clapping to salute local heroes during Thursday's nationwide Clap for Carers initiative to recognise and support NHS workers and carers fighting the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Andrew Milligan/PA Images via Getty Images)
An Irish dancer performs outside the Belfast City Hospital in south Belfast, during Thursday's nationwide Clap for Carers initiative to recognise and support NHS workers and carers fighting the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 21: Swimmers in the Serpentine in Hyde Park on May 21, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. This week temperatures reached 28 degrees celsius in the UK, as many people enjoy the sunshine despite lockdown still being in place due to the COVID-19 outbreak. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Workers unload a shipment of 120,000 surgical coveralls from China for the protection of NHS workers, from a plane at Bournemouth Airport in southern England on May 21, 2020, during the novel coronavirus pandemic. - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Wednesday the country will have 25,000 virus tracing staff recruited by June so the country can "make progress" in its strategy to keep easing the nationwide lockdown (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)
Social distancing queue at the home and outdoor store Homebase garden centre under Coronavirus lockdown on 21st May 2020 in Birmingham, England, United Kingdom. DIY shops have been allowed to be open for the last few days and flocks of people have queued at them to buy home and garden goods. Coronavirus or Covid-19 is a new respiratory illness that has not previously been seen in humans. While much or Europe has been placed into lockdown, the UK government has put in place more stringent rules as part of their long term strategy, and in particular 'social distancing'. (photo by Mike Kemp/In PIctures via Getty Images)
LEE-ON-THE-SOLENT, ENGLAND - MAY 19: A paramedic is seen wearing PPE as she waits outside an ambulance to monitor an incident at on May 19, 2020 in Lee-On-The-Solent, England. The British government has started easing the lockdown it imposed two months ago to curb the spread of Covid-19, abandoning its 'stay at home' slogan in favour of a message to 'be alert', but UK countries have varied in their approaches to relaxing quarantine measures. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)
ENFIELD, ENGLAND - MAY 20: Equipment is disinfected between training sessions during the Tottenham Hotspur training session at Tottenham Hotspur Training Centre on May 20, 2020 in Enfield, England. (Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)
Cars queue at the McDonald's drive-thru in Hounslow as McDonalds has reopened three of its restaurants in London but only as drive-thrus after the introduction of measures to bring the country out of lockdown. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
A man in a face mask walks in front of a mural of a nurse with a PPE face mask on, painted by the artist Akse in Manchester's Northern Quarter, UK on 19th May 2020. (Photo by Pat Scaasi/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 19: 7-year-old Saskia Brunskill, the photographer's daughter, in action during a social distancing tennis coaching session with Shaun Murray at Sale Sports Club on May 19, 2020 in Sale, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom. The British government has started easing the lockdown it imposed two months ago to curb the spread of Covid-19, abandoning its 'stay at home' slogan in favour of a message to 'be alert', but UK countries have varied in their approaches to relaxing quarantine measures. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
FLEET, ENGLAND - MAY 19: A general view of a thank you sign in support of NHS and key workers is displayed on a fence outside a house on May 19, 2020 in Fleet, England. The British government has started easing the lockdown it imposed two months ago to curb the spread of Covid-19, abandoning its 'stay at home' slogan in favour of a message to 'be alert', but UK countries have varied in their approaches to relaxing quarantine measures. (Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 19: A quiet view of Tower Bridge from St Katherine's Dock on May 19, 2020 in London. The British government has started easing the lockdown it imposed two months ago to curb the spread of Covid-19, abandoning its 'stay at home' slogan in favour of a message to 'be alert', but UK countries have varied in their approaches to relaxing quarantine measures. (Photo by Jo Hale/Getty Images)
Neonatal Nurse Kirsty Hartley carries premature baby Theo Anderson to his mother Kirsty Anderson in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Lancashire Women and Newborn Centre at Burnley General Hospital in Blackburn, England, amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Hannah McKay/Pool Photo via AP)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 18: Toilets are taped off to help customers observe social distancing at Waterloo Station on May 18, 2020 in London, England. The British government has started easing the lockdown it imposed two months ago to curb the spread of Covid-19, abandoning its 'stay at home' slogan in favour of a message to 'be alert', but UK countries have varied in their approaches to relaxing quarantine measures. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
A delivery worker rides his bike at Holborn, in London, Monday, May 18, 2020. Large areas of London are to be closed to cars and vans to allow people to walk and cycle safely as the coronavirus lockdown is eased. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)
A sign advising passengers to wear a face mask at Clapham Junction station as train services increased as part of the easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions, in London, Monday May 18, 2020.Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced last Sunday that people could return to work if they could not work from home. (Yui Mok/PA via AP)
A view of the M6 motorway near Birmingham, after the introduction of measures to bring the country out of lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic, in Birmingham, England, Monday, May 18, 2020. Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced last Sunday that people could return to work if they could not work from home. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
Commuters, some wearing protective masks to protect against coronavirus stand on the platform at Leytonstone underground station, in London, Monday, May 18, 2020. Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced last Sunday that people could return to work if they could not work from home. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)
BOLTON, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 18: Barry Dieters poses wearing his face mask as he shops for essentials on May 18, 2020 in Bolton, United Kingdom. People are beginning to get back to work and try to get life back to a sense of normality as aspects of the lockdown are eased. The government has relaxed the lockdown meant to curb the spread of Covid-19, and has asked the public to wear face masks in enclosed spaces and where social distancing isn't possible. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
BLACKWOOD, WALES - MAY 18: A general view of a Safety sign at Bryn Meadows Golf Club as restrictions on playing golf in Wales have been eased but still differ to golf in England on May 18, 2020 in Blackwood, Wales, United Kingdom. The British government has started easing the lockdown it imposed two months ago to curb the spread of Covid-19, abandoning its 'stay at home' slogan in favour of a message to 'be alert', but UK countries have varied in their approaches to relaxing quarantine measures. (Photo by Huw Fairclough/Getty Images)
SOUTHEND ON SEA, ENGLAND - MAY 17: People flock to the beach to enjoy the sunshine and warm weather during the coronavirus, covid-19 pandemic on May 17, 2020 in Southend on Sea, England . The prime minister announced the general contours of a phased exit from the current lockdown, adopted nearly two months ago in an effort curb the spread of Covid-19. (Photo by John Keeble/Getty Images)
People queue for ice cream in Cambridge after the introduction of measures to bring the country out of lockdown.
Neonatal Nurse Kirsty Hartley carries premature baby Theo Anderson to his mother Kirsty Anderson in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Lancashire Women and Newborn Centre at Burnley General Hospital in East Lancashire during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease.
Kayakers return to the River Cam in Cambridge after the introduction of measures to bring the country out of lockdown.
Members of Marlow Rowing Club take to the River Thames at Marlow, Buckinghamshire, after the lifting of some restrictions to bring the country out of lockdown.
Pharmacist Susan Holgate talks on the telephone in the Critical Care Unit at The Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital in East Lancashire during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease.
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A member of the social distancing team wears a face shield to protect from coronavirus as he watches to help construction workers observe social distancing at lunchtime in the site canteen at the "Goodluck Hope" development which is under construction by the Ballymore Group international property development company on Leamouth Peninsula in east London, Friday, May 15, 2020. Some of the coronavirus lockdown measures were relaxed in England on Wednesday, with those workers who are unable to work from home, such as those in construction and manufacturing, encouraged to return to work. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
A woman wears a face guard to protect against the coronavirus as she shops at a food market in London, as the country is in lockdown to help stop the spread of coronavirus, Thursday, May 14, 2020. Some of the coronavirus lockdown measures are being relaxed in England, with coffee shops reopening but with extra measures such as take away only and social distancing. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 15, 2020: A social distancing floor marking and poster advising passengers to wear face covering on public transport are seen at Vauxhall underground station on 15 May, 2020 in London, England. Earlier this week the UK government relaxed some of the coronavirus lockdown restrictions in England , encouraging employees who can't work from home to gradually return to their workplaces and allowing people to leave home for outdoor leisure activities.- PHOTOGRAPH BY Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Studios / Future Publishing (Photo credit should read Wiktor Szymanowicz/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
BRIXWORTH, ENGLAND - MAY 15: A Royal Mail postal worker in fancy dress as she delivers mail on May 15, 2020 in Brixworth, England. The prime minister announced the general contours of a phased exit from the current lockdown, adopted nearly two months ago in an effort curb the spread of Covid-19. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
BLACKWOOD, WALES - 14 MAY: A general view of Cefn Caerllwyn Farm, where the owners have illuminated the side of a barn in support of the NHS on May 14, 2020 in Blackwood, Wales, United Kingdom. The barn is located on a hillside and the writing can be seen by residents and passing motorists. Following the success of the "Clap for Our Carers" campaign, members of the public are being encouraged to applaud NHS staff and NHS staff and other key workers from their homes at 8pm every Thursday. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has infected over 4 million people across the world, claiming at least 33,614 lives in the U.K. (Photo by Huw Fairclough/Getty Images)
NHS workers wearing PPE (personal protective equipment), including a face mask, gloves and aprons, as a precautionary measure against COVID-19 participate in a national "clap for carers" to show thanks for the work of Britain's NHS (National Health Service) workers and other frontline medical staff around the country as they battle with the novel coronavirus pandemic, at Aintree University Hospital in Liverpool, north west England on May 14, 2020. - Britain on Thursday said it was in discussions with Swiss pharma giant Roche to mass purchase its coronavirus antibody test after scientists claimed it was "100 percent" accurate. "This test developed by Roche appears to be extremely reliable, it's got the green light from testers," health minister Edward Argar told the BBC on Thursday. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 14: A nurse dances as the Oldham Scottish and Manchester Community pipe bands perform during the Clap for Carers at Tameside General Hospital in Ashton-Under-Lyne on May 14, 2020 in Manchester, United Kingdom. The prime minister announced the general contours of a phased exit from the current lockdown, adopted nearly two months ago in an effort curb the spread of Covid-19. (Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)
NHS workers outside the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, London, to salute local heroes during Thursday's nationwide Clap for Carers initiative to recognise and support NHS workers and carers fighting the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 14: Local charity workers dressed as superheroes pose for a portrait after participating in the Clap for Carers at Tameside General Hospital in Ashton-Under-Lyne on May 14, 2020 in Manchester, United Kingdom. The prime minister announced the general contours of a phased exit from the current lockdown, adopted nearly two months ago in an effort curb the spread of Covid-19. (Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)
Drummers outside the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, as they join in the applause to salute local heroes during Thursday's nationwide Clap for Carers to recognise and support NHS workers and carers fighting the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Jacob King/PA Images via Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 14: Local charity workers dressed as superheroes wave at patients as they participate in the Clap for Carers at Tameside General Hospital in Ashton-Under-Lyne on May 14, 2020 in Manchester, United Kingdom. The prime minister announced the general contours of a phased exit from the current lockdown, adopted nearly two months ago in an effort curb the spread of Covid-19. (Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)
Neighbours Seamus O'Sullivan, playing his accordion, and Ian Taylor, playing his guitar, in their street in Glasgow, as they join in the applause to salute local heroes during Thursday's nationwide Clap for Carers to recognise and support NHS workers and carers fighting the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Andrew Milligan/PA Images via Getty Images)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds stand in Downing Street, London, to join in the applause to salute local heroes during Thursday's nationwide Clap for Carers to recognise and support NHS workers and carers fighting the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images)
GLASTONBURY, ENGLAND - MAY 14: General view of Glastonbury Tor as it is lit up Blue as a mark of respect to the NHS and Key Workers on May 14, 2020 in Glastonbury, England. The prime minister announced the general contours of a phased exit from the current lockdown, adopted nearly two months ago in an effort curb the spread of Covid-19. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)
ABERTILLERY, WALES - 14 MAY: A resident and her pet dog Clap For Carers on May 14, 2020 in Abertillery, Wales, United Kingdom. Following the success of the "Clap for Our Carers" campaign, members of the public are being encouraged to applaud NHS staff and other key workers from their homes at 8pm every Thursday. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has infected over 4 million people across the world, claiming at least 33,614 lives in the U.K. (Photo by Huw Fairclough/Getty Images)
Workers relax in Soho Square in central London on May 14, 2020 following an easing of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 lockdown guidelines. - People living in England got more freedom on May 13 to leave their homes, including to go to work, the first stage of an easing of the seven-week coronavirus lockdown. (Photo by Isabel Infantes / AFP) (Photo by ISABEL INFANTES/AFP via Getty Images)
Staff at the Coastline fish and chip shop and ice cream parlour on Blyth beach, Northumberland, wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) as they put out social distancing signs for customers. The restaurant has re-opened for take away orders after the easing of lockdown restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images)
DARLASTON, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 13: John Humphries poses wearing his face mask as he goes about essential chores on May 13, 2020 in Darlaston, West Midlands, United Kingdom. People are beginning to get back to work and trying to get life back to a sense of normality as aspects of the lockdown are eased. As the government relaxes the lockdown meant to curb the spread of Covid-19, it has asked the public to wear face masks in enclosed spaces and where social distancing isn't possible. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
A woman wearing a mask and kitchen gloves shops in a branch of supermarket chain Sainsbury's in the Bayswater district of London, England, on May 13, 2020. Today marked the first day of several eased restrictions across England as a slow loosening of the coronavirus lockdown gets underway, with people now encouraged to return to work if unable to do so from home and unlimited outdoor exercise now allowed. Non-essential shops will not be permitted to reopen before at least June 1, however, and the hospitality sector is to remain closed until at least July 4. With those closure orders still in place, much of central London, which is mostly comprised of retail and hospitality venues, remained largely as deserted today as it has been in recent weeks. (Photo by David Cliff/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
A general view of PSNI officers operating in full PPE gear during the coronavirus pandemic in Belfast. (Photo by Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty Images)
Graffiti in support of the NHS, near Waterloo Station, London, after the announcement of plans to bring the country out of lockdown. (Photo by Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - Nurses who work at central London hospitals protest with placards outside Downing Street in central London on May 13, 2020 calling for improved conditions and pay for nursing staff on the occasion of International Nurses Day 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. - International Nurses Day 2020 coincides with the 200th anniversary of the birth of pioneering nurse Florence Nightingale and aims to shine a light on the difficult work done by nursing staff. The coronavirus pandemic has brought increased focus on the often extraordinary work of NHS clinical, non-clinical staff and care sector staff in caring for patients in challenging conditions with the public showing their appreciation with weekly 'claps for carers'. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
General view of a mural by artist Lionel Stanhope showing 'Supper at Emmaus' by Caravaggio, with the figures wearing protetive gloves, in south London, after the announcement of plans to bring the country out of lockdown. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images)
A quiet 'rush hour' at Waterloo Station as the UK eases some restrictions in it's tenth week to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
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Speaking at the Number 10 daily press briefing, Mr Hancock said the R number was an "incredibly important figure", and it was important to note "we don't think that it is above one".

He added: "Everybody can play their part in keeping R below one and pushing R down.

"You can do that by following the social distancing rules, so if you do go outdoors, do it only with members of your household and keep two metres away from others who aren't in your household.

"And those social distancing rules are incredibly clear, and they will help to keep us safe."

HEALTH Coronavirus
(PA Graphics)

Mr Hancock also told the press conference he supported the phased reopening of primary schools – which has been set for June 1 at the earliest.

It comes after teaching unions said they were unconvinced by the "flimsy" scientific evidence on which the move has been made.

Mr Hancock said: "I wouldn't support a proposal to reopen schools unless I thought it was safe to do so. It is safe to do so."

But he stressed there was an "awful lot of work to do in each individual school to make sure that that is done in a way that is safe".

He said the risk from coronavirus "was much, much lower (for) children than any other age group in society, certainly if you don't have underlying health conditions".

Deputy chief medical officer, Dr Jenny Harries said it was important to put the risks in perspective.

She said: "If currently we have, say, two or three in 1,000 of our population with infection, then in the proposed time frame coming forward in the next couple of weeks that's likely to halve.

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Coronavirus impacts Britain
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Coronavirus impacts Britain
Prime Minister Boris Johnson's top aide Dominic Cummings leaves his north London home as the row over his trip to Durham during lockdown continues. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 28, 2020: NHS staff stage a silent protest outside the gates of Downing Street during the weekly 'Clap for our Carers' applause for the NHS and key workers on the front line of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic on 28 May, 2020 in London, England.- PHOTOGRAPH BY Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Studios / Future Publishing (Photo credit should read Wiktor Szymanowicz/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
Former nurse Joan Rich, 101, walks through Allenby Park in Felixstowe, Suffolk, to raise money for NHS Charities Together. Mrs Rich, who uses a frame to aid her walking, aims to walk 102 laps of the park before her 102nd birthday on 11 September. (Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)
A woman, Tina Jane from Shoreham, sings songs out the back of her car to entertain the people that live on her street after the Clap for Carers, as the UK continues to ease out of lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus.
LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 28: People enjoy the warm and sunny weather relaxing on the pavement outside their homes in the Shorefields area of Liverpool during the Coronavirus pandemic lockdown on May 28, 2020 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. The British government continues to ease the coronavirus lockdown by announcing schools will open to reception year pupils plus years one and six from June 1st. Open-air markets and car showrooms can also open from the same date. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 28: Fire and explosion damage can be seen on an EE network 5G mast that was attacked by an arsonist earlier this week in Brodie Avenue on May 28, 2020 in Liverpool, England. A lot of the damage was caused by the resulting explosion when the petrol was ignited. Several phone masts have been deliberately damaged around the UK, their attackers inspired by a conspiracy theory positing that 5G technology is linked to the spread of the coronavirus. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
People buy fresh fruit and vegetables from a stall in an outdoor street market in Walthamstow, east London on May 28, 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic. - Britain has suffered the highest death rate from the coronavirus among the most-affected countries with comparable tracking data, according to Financial Times research published Thursday. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
Cleaner James York from First Bus cleans a bus at their Larbert depot ahead of the bus returning to service. Due to social distancing measures only a certain amount of people will be able to travel on a particular bus at a certain time after the introduction of measures to bring the country out of lockdown. (Photo by Andrew Milligan/PA Images via Getty Images)
A man wearing a protective mask strolls across a bridge in central London, Tuesday, May 26, 2020, during hot weather following the gradual easing of the COVID-19 lockdown, allowing more outdoor recreation and letting some shops and businesses reopen. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
GLASGOW - MAY 27: Members of the public walk past new graffiti on Clyde Street on May 27, 2020 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. The British government continues to ease the coronavirus lockdown by announcing schools will open to reception year pupils plus years one and six from June 1st. Open-air markets and car showrooms can also open from the same date. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
People walk along Portobello Road Market in London, Wednesday, May 27, 2020. Following the gradual easing of the COVID-19 lockdown, street markets will be allowed to reopen in Britain from Monday onwards. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Shop owners wait for customers and prepare at Sherpherd's Bush Market in London, Wednesday, May 27, 2020. Following the gradual easing of the COVID-19 lockdown, street markets will be allowed to reopen in Britain from Monday onwards. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Dominic Cummings, the chief advisor to Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, arrives at Downing Street in London, Wednesday, May 27, 2020. The prime minister's populist appeal has been hammered by news that, as the coronavirus outbreak raged, chief adviser Cummings drove 250 miles (400 kilometers) to his parents' house while he was falling ill with suspected COVID-19 — allegedly flouting lockdown rules that the government had imposed on the rest of the country. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
A workman removes graffiti from a wall near the north London home of the Prime Minister's top aide Dominic Cummings as the row over his Durham trip during the coronavirus lockdown continues.
A sign displaying advice on social distancing is displayed at the beach in Weston-super-Mare, south west England on May 27, 2020, as lockdown measures are eased during the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP) (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)
CHEAM, ENGLAND - MAY 27: AFC Wimbledon Footballer Jack Rudoni trains at home during the Coronavirus Pandemic on May 27, 2020 in Cheam, England. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Cleaner James York from First Bus cleans a bus at their Larbert depot ahead of the bus returning to service. Due to social distancing measures only a certain amount of people will be able to travel on a particular bus at a certain time after the introduction of measures to bring the country out of lockdown. (Photo by Andrew Milligan/PA Images via Getty Images)
Number 10 special advisor Dominic Cummings leaves his residence in north London on May 26, 2020. - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's top adviser Domonic Cummings said yesterday he acted "reasonably and legally" despite mounting pressure on him to resign for allegedly breaking coronavirus lockdown rules. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2020/05/25: A man sunbathes in London on a very hot and sunny day. The UK government has started to ease the coronavirus lockdown allowing people to spend more time outdoors. (Photo by Steve Taylor/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
CILFYNYDD, WALES - MAY 26: A general view of a car sales showroom which is currently closed for business on May 26, 2020 in Blackwood, United Kingdom. The British government continues to ease the coronavirus lockdown by announcing schools will open to reception year pupils plus years one and six from June 1st. Open-air markets and car showrooms can also open from the same date. (Photo by Huw Fairclough/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 24: Social Distancing measures are seen on a Bakerloo line tube train on May 24 2020 in London, England. The prime minister announced the general contours of a phased exit from the current lockdown, adopted nearly two months ago in an effort curb the spread of Covid-19. (Photo by Peter Summers/Getty Images)
Team GB taekwondo athlete Lutalo Muhammad trains at his home in Walthamstow, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), London, Britain, May 24, 2020. REUTERS/Paul Childs TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
The Young Westminster Foundation (YWF), a charity that supports young people in the Westminster Borough, unveil their new and original digital artwork by the graffiti artist STIK on the Piccadilly Lights screen, at Piccadilly Circus, central London. (Photo by Jonathan Brady/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2020/05/24: A view of a coronavirus awareness mural and a tribute to NHS workers drawn on a wall during the coronavirus crisis. (Photo by Dave Rushen/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 24, 2020 - Coronavirus: pavement stickers indicating the correct social distancing whilst queuing- PHOTOGRAPH BY Matthew Chattle / Barcroft Studios / Future Publishing (Photo credit should read Matthew Chattle/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
PORTHCAWL, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 25: A surfer in the water at Sandy Bay on May 25, 2020 in Porthcawl, United Kingdom. The British government has started easing the lockdown it imposed two months ago to curb the spread of Covid-19, abandoning its 'stay at home' slogan in favour of a message to 'be alert', but UK countries have varied in their approaches to relaxing quarantine measures. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 24: Chief Advisor to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Dominic Cummings arrives home on May 24, 2020 in London, England. On March 31st 2020 Downing Street confirmed to journalists that Dominic Cummings was self-isolating with COVID-19 symptoms at his home in North London. Durham police have confirmed that he was actually hundreds of miles away at his parent's house in the city. (Photo by Peter Summers/Getty Images)
A police officer talks to a protester outside the north London home of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's senior aide Dominic Cummings , as lockdown questions continue to bombard the Government after it emerged that he travelled to his parents' home despite coronavirus-related restrictions. (Photo by Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images)
Mounted police patrol Barry Island, Wales, where the stay at home message is still in force and only essential travel is allowed. (Photo by Ben Birchall/PA Images via Getty Images)
A Long Eaton (Derbyshire) resident and NHS worker presents a Tribute and Memorial to the dedicated members of the NHS and Social Care family who gave their lives during the fight against COVID-19. (Photo by Scott Wilson/PA Images via Getty Images)
SALISBURY, ENGLAND - MAY 24: Team GB Olympic Trap Shooter Augusta Campos-Martyn trains at her home on May 24, 2020 in Salisbury, England. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)
A man feeds a swan in Hyde Park, London, after the introduction of measures to bring the country out of lockdown. (Photo by Kirsty O'Connor/PA Images via Getty Images)
People sit in their vehicles as they wait at a KFC in Killingworth North Tyneside, after the introduction of measures to bring the country out of lockdown. (Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images)
BIGBURY-ON-SEA, ENGLAND - MAY 23: An NHS heart is drawn in the sand at Bigbury Beach on May 23, 2020 in Bigbury-on-Sea, England. The British government has started easing the lockdown it imposed two months ago to curb the spread of Covid-19, abandoning its 'stay at home' slogan in favour of a message to 'be alert', but UK countries have varied in their approaches to relaxing quarantine measures. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
BIGBURY-ON-SEA, ENGLAND - MAY 23: Kitesurfers enjoy the windy conditions at Bigbury Beach on May 23, 2020 in Bigbury-on-Sea, England. The British government has started easing the lockdown it imposed two months ago to curb the spread of Covid-19, abandoning its 'stay at home' slogan in favour of a message to 'be alert', but UK countries have varied in their approaches to relaxing quarantine measures. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
A woman sits alone on a bench under a tree at the top of Cissbury Ring, Worthing, after the introduction of measures to bring the country out of lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Two women walk through a heavy rain shower in St James's Park in central London, on the first day of the Bank Holiday weekend, as people flock to parks and beaches with lockdown measures eased.
A view of a near empty beach in Brighton as the hot weather cools following scenes of people flocking to parks and beaches this week as lockdown measures were eased.
Shoppers wearing protective masks in a farmers market in West Ealing, London during the coronavirus crisis. Photo date: Saturday, May 23, 2020. Photo credit should read: Richard Gray/EMPICS
People sit in their vehicles as they wait at a KFC in Killingworth North Tyneside, after the introduction of measures to bring the country out of lockdown.
Kitesurfer and windsurfers in Bowleaze Cove in distance in Weymouth, Dorset
Surfers in Bowleaze Cove in Weymouth, Dorset
Member of the public taking a walk along the seafront in Swanage, Dorset
Painted stones in support of the NHS in Swanage, Dorset
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 21, 2020: Paramedics and local residents clap their hands outside Chelsea and Westminster Hospital during the weekly 'Clap for our Carers' applause for the NHS and key workers on the front line of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic as the UK's nationwide lockdown continues for the ninth week on 21 May, 2020 in London, England.- PHOTOGRAPH BY Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Studios / Future Publishing (Photo credit should read Wiktor Szymanowicz/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 21, 2020: Nurses clap their hands outside Chelsea and Westminster Hospital during the weekly 'Clap for our Carers' applause for the NHS and key workers on the front line of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic as the UK's nationwide lockdown continues for the ninth week on 21 May, 2020 in London, England.- PHOTOGRAPH BY Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Studios / Future Publishing (Photo credit should read Wiktor Szymanowicz/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
Members of the public participate in a national "clap for carers" to show thanks for the work of Britain's NHS (National Health Service) workers and other frontline medical staff around the country as they battle with the novel coronavirus pandemic, at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London on May 21, 2020. - The British government on on May 21 announced that foreign care workers would be exempt from a charge imposed on migrants to fund the health service, after an outcry sparked by the coronavirus outbreak. (Photo by Niklas HALLE'N / AFP) (Photo by NIKLAS HALLE'N/AFP via Getty Images)
Members of the public participate in a national "clap for carers" to show thanks for the work of Britain's NHS (National Health Service) workers and other frontline medical staff around the country as they battle with the novel coronavirus pandemic, at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London on May 21, 2020. - The British government on on May 21 announced that foreign care workers would be exempt from a charge imposed on migrants to fund the health service, after an outcry sparked by the coronavirus outbreak. (Photo by Niklas HALLE'N / AFP) (Photo by NIKLAS HALLE'N/AFP via Getty Images)
Staff outside Abbeydale Court Care Home in Hamilton clapping to salute local heroes during Thursday's nationwide Clap for Carers initiative to recognise and support NHS workers and carers fighting the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Andrew Milligan/PA Images via Getty Images)
An Irish dancer performs outside the Belfast City Hospital in south Belfast, during Thursday's nationwide Clap for Carers initiative to recognise and support NHS workers and carers fighting the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 21: Swimmers in the Serpentine in Hyde Park on May 21, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. This week temperatures reached 28 degrees celsius in the UK, as many people enjoy the sunshine despite lockdown still being in place due to the COVID-19 outbreak. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Workers unload a shipment of 120,000 surgical coveralls from China for the protection of NHS workers, from a plane at Bournemouth Airport in southern England on May 21, 2020, during the novel coronavirus pandemic. - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Wednesday the country will have 25,000 virus tracing staff recruited by June so the country can "make progress" in its strategy to keep easing the nationwide lockdown (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)
Social distancing queue at the home and outdoor store Homebase garden centre under Coronavirus lockdown on 21st May 2020 in Birmingham, England, United Kingdom. DIY shops have been allowed to be open for the last few days and flocks of people have queued at them to buy home and garden goods. Coronavirus or Covid-19 is a new respiratory illness that has not previously been seen in humans. While much or Europe has been placed into lockdown, the UK government has put in place more stringent rules as part of their long term strategy, and in particular 'social distancing'. (photo by Mike Kemp/In PIctures via Getty Images)
LEE-ON-THE-SOLENT, ENGLAND - MAY 19: A paramedic is seen wearing PPE as she waits outside an ambulance to monitor an incident at on May 19, 2020 in Lee-On-The-Solent, England. The British government has started easing the lockdown it imposed two months ago to curb the spread of Covid-19, abandoning its 'stay at home' slogan in favour of a message to 'be alert', but UK countries have varied in their approaches to relaxing quarantine measures. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)
ENFIELD, ENGLAND - MAY 20: Equipment is disinfected between training sessions during the Tottenham Hotspur training session at Tottenham Hotspur Training Centre on May 20, 2020 in Enfield, England. (Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)
Cars queue at the McDonald's drive-thru in Hounslow as McDonalds has reopened three of its restaurants in London but only as drive-thrus after the introduction of measures to bring the country out of lockdown. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
A man in a face mask walks in front of a mural of a nurse with a PPE face mask on, painted by the artist Akse in Manchester's Northern Quarter, UK on 19th May 2020. (Photo by Pat Scaasi/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 19: 7-year-old Saskia Brunskill, the photographer's daughter, in action during a social distancing tennis coaching session with Shaun Murray at Sale Sports Club on May 19, 2020 in Sale, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom. The British government has started easing the lockdown it imposed two months ago to curb the spread of Covid-19, abandoning its 'stay at home' slogan in favour of a message to 'be alert', but UK countries have varied in their approaches to relaxing quarantine measures. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
FLEET, ENGLAND - MAY 19: A general view of a thank you sign in support of NHS and key workers is displayed on a fence outside a house on May 19, 2020 in Fleet, England. The British government has started easing the lockdown it imposed two months ago to curb the spread of Covid-19, abandoning its 'stay at home' slogan in favour of a message to 'be alert', but UK countries have varied in their approaches to relaxing quarantine measures. (Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 19: A quiet view of Tower Bridge from St Katherine's Dock on May 19, 2020 in London. The British government has started easing the lockdown it imposed two months ago to curb the spread of Covid-19, abandoning its 'stay at home' slogan in favour of a message to 'be alert', but UK countries have varied in their approaches to relaxing quarantine measures. (Photo by Jo Hale/Getty Images)
Neonatal Nurse Kirsty Hartley carries premature baby Theo Anderson to his mother Kirsty Anderson in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Lancashire Women and Newborn Centre at Burnley General Hospital in Blackburn, England, amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Hannah McKay/Pool Photo via AP)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 18: Toilets are taped off to help customers observe social distancing at Waterloo Station on May 18, 2020 in London, England. The British government has started easing the lockdown it imposed two months ago to curb the spread of Covid-19, abandoning its 'stay at home' slogan in favour of a message to 'be alert', but UK countries have varied in their approaches to relaxing quarantine measures. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
A delivery worker rides his bike at Holborn, in London, Monday, May 18, 2020. Large areas of London are to be closed to cars and vans to allow people to walk and cycle safely as the coronavirus lockdown is eased. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)
A sign advising passengers to wear a face mask at Clapham Junction station as train services increased as part of the easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions, in London, Monday May 18, 2020.Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced last Sunday that people could return to work if they could not work from home. (Yui Mok/PA via AP)
A view of the M6 motorway near Birmingham, after the introduction of measures to bring the country out of lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic, in Birmingham, England, Monday, May 18, 2020. Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced last Sunday that people could return to work if they could not work from home. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
Commuters, some wearing protective masks to protect against coronavirus stand on the platform at Leytonstone underground station, in London, Monday, May 18, 2020. Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced last Sunday that people could return to work if they could not work from home. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)
BOLTON, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 18: Barry Dieters poses wearing his face mask as he shops for essentials on May 18, 2020 in Bolton, United Kingdom. People are beginning to get back to work and try to get life back to a sense of normality as aspects of the lockdown are eased. The government has relaxed the lockdown meant to curb the spread of Covid-19, and has asked the public to wear face masks in enclosed spaces and where social distancing isn't possible. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
BLACKWOOD, WALES - MAY 18: A general view of a Safety sign at Bryn Meadows Golf Club as restrictions on playing golf in Wales have been eased but still differ to golf in England on May 18, 2020 in Blackwood, Wales, United Kingdom. The British government has started easing the lockdown it imposed two months ago to curb the spread of Covid-19, abandoning its 'stay at home' slogan in favour of a message to 'be alert', but UK countries have varied in their approaches to relaxing quarantine measures. (Photo by Huw Fairclough/Getty Images)
SOUTHEND ON SEA, ENGLAND - MAY 17: People flock to the beach to enjoy the sunshine and warm weather during the coronavirus, covid-19 pandemic on May 17, 2020 in Southend on Sea, England . The prime minister announced the general contours of a phased exit from the current lockdown, adopted nearly two months ago in an effort curb the spread of Covid-19. (Photo by John Keeble/Getty Images)
People queue for ice cream in Cambridge after the introduction of measures to bring the country out of lockdown.
Neonatal Nurse Kirsty Hartley carries premature baby Theo Anderson to his mother Kirsty Anderson in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Lancashire Women and Newborn Centre at Burnley General Hospital in East Lancashire during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease.
Kayakers return to the River Cam in Cambridge after the introduction of measures to bring the country out of lockdown.
Members of Marlow Rowing Club take to the River Thames at Marlow, Buckinghamshire, after the lifting of some restrictions to bring the country out of lockdown.
Pharmacist Susan Holgate talks on the telephone in the Critical Care Unit at The Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital in East Lancashire during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease.
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A member of the social distancing team wears a face shield to protect from coronavirus as he watches to help construction workers observe social distancing at lunchtime in the site canteen at the "Goodluck Hope" development which is under construction by the Ballymore Group international property development company on Leamouth Peninsula in east London, Friday, May 15, 2020. Some of the coronavirus lockdown measures were relaxed in England on Wednesday, with those workers who are unable to work from home, such as those in construction and manufacturing, encouraged to return to work. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
A woman wears a face guard to protect against the coronavirus as she shops at a food market in London, as the country is in lockdown to help stop the spread of coronavirus, Thursday, May 14, 2020. Some of the coronavirus lockdown measures are being relaxed in England, with coffee shops reopening but with extra measures such as take away only and social distancing. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 15, 2020: A social distancing floor marking and poster advising passengers to wear face covering on public transport are seen at Vauxhall underground station on 15 May, 2020 in London, England. Earlier this week the UK government relaxed some of the coronavirus lockdown restrictions in England , encouraging employees who can't work from home to gradually return to their workplaces and allowing people to leave home for outdoor leisure activities.- PHOTOGRAPH BY Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Studios / Future Publishing (Photo credit should read Wiktor Szymanowicz/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
BRIXWORTH, ENGLAND - MAY 15: A Royal Mail postal worker in fancy dress as she delivers mail on May 15, 2020 in Brixworth, England. The prime minister announced the general contours of a phased exit from the current lockdown, adopted nearly two months ago in an effort curb the spread of Covid-19. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
BLACKWOOD, WALES - 14 MAY: A general view of Cefn Caerllwyn Farm, where the owners have illuminated the side of a barn in support of the NHS on May 14, 2020 in Blackwood, Wales, United Kingdom. The barn is located on a hillside and the writing can be seen by residents and passing motorists. Following the success of the "Clap for Our Carers" campaign, members of the public are being encouraged to applaud NHS staff and NHS staff and other key workers from their homes at 8pm every Thursday. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has infected over 4 million people across the world, claiming at least 33,614 lives in the U.K. (Photo by Huw Fairclough/Getty Images)
NHS workers wearing PPE (personal protective equipment), including a face mask, gloves and aprons, as a precautionary measure against COVID-19 participate in a national "clap for carers" to show thanks for the work of Britain's NHS (National Health Service) workers and other frontline medical staff around the country as they battle with the novel coronavirus pandemic, at Aintree University Hospital in Liverpool, north west England on May 14, 2020. - Britain on Thursday said it was in discussions with Swiss pharma giant Roche to mass purchase its coronavirus antibody test after scientists claimed it was "100 percent" accurate. "This test developed by Roche appears to be extremely reliable, it's got the green light from testers," health minister Edward Argar told the BBC on Thursday. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 14: A nurse dances as the Oldham Scottish and Manchester Community pipe bands perform during the Clap for Carers at Tameside General Hospital in Ashton-Under-Lyne on May 14, 2020 in Manchester, United Kingdom. The prime minister announced the general contours of a phased exit from the current lockdown, adopted nearly two months ago in an effort curb the spread of Covid-19. (Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)
NHS workers outside the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, London, to salute local heroes during Thursday's nationwide Clap for Carers initiative to recognise and support NHS workers and carers fighting the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 14: Local charity workers dressed as superheroes pose for a portrait after participating in the Clap for Carers at Tameside General Hospital in Ashton-Under-Lyne on May 14, 2020 in Manchester, United Kingdom. The prime minister announced the general contours of a phased exit from the current lockdown, adopted nearly two months ago in an effort curb the spread of Covid-19. (Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)
Drummers outside the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, as they join in the applause to salute local heroes during Thursday's nationwide Clap for Carers to recognise and support NHS workers and carers fighting the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Jacob King/PA Images via Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 14: Local charity workers dressed as superheroes wave at patients as they participate in the Clap for Carers at Tameside General Hospital in Ashton-Under-Lyne on May 14, 2020 in Manchester, United Kingdom. The prime minister announced the general contours of a phased exit from the current lockdown, adopted nearly two months ago in an effort curb the spread of Covid-19. (Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)
Neighbours Seamus O'Sullivan, playing his accordion, and Ian Taylor, playing his guitar, in their street in Glasgow, as they join in the applause to salute local heroes during Thursday's nationwide Clap for Carers to recognise and support NHS workers and carers fighting the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Andrew Milligan/PA Images via Getty Images)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds stand in Downing Street, London, to join in the applause to salute local heroes during Thursday's nationwide Clap for Carers to recognise and support NHS workers and carers fighting the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images)
GLASTONBURY, ENGLAND - MAY 14: General view of Glastonbury Tor as it is lit up Blue as a mark of respect to the NHS and Key Workers on May 14, 2020 in Glastonbury, England. The prime minister announced the general contours of a phased exit from the current lockdown, adopted nearly two months ago in an effort curb the spread of Covid-19. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)
ABERTILLERY, WALES - 14 MAY: A resident and her pet dog Clap For Carers on May 14, 2020 in Abertillery, Wales, United Kingdom. Following the success of the "Clap for Our Carers" campaign, members of the public are being encouraged to applaud NHS staff and other key workers from their homes at 8pm every Thursday. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has infected over 4 million people across the world, claiming at least 33,614 lives in the U.K. (Photo by Huw Fairclough/Getty Images)
Workers relax in Soho Square in central London on May 14, 2020 following an easing of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 lockdown guidelines. - People living in England got more freedom on May 13 to leave their homes, including to go to work, the first stage of an easing of the seven-week coronavirus lockdown. (Photo by Isabel Infantes / AFP) (Photo by ISABEL INFANTES/AFP via Getty Images)
Staff at the Coastline fish and chip shop and ice cream parlour on Blyth beach, Northumberland, wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) as they put out social distancing signs for customers. The restaurant has re-opened for take away orders after the easing of lockdown restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images)
DARLASTON, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 13: John Humphries poses wearing his face mask as he goes about essential chores on May 13, 2020 in Darlaston, West Midlands, United Kingdom. People are beginning to get back to work and trying to get life back to a sense of normality as aspects of the lockdown are eased. As the government relaxes the lockdown meant to curb the spread of Covid-19, it has asked the public to wear face masks in enclosed spaces and where social distancing isn't possible. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
A woman wearing a mask and kitchen gloves shops in a branch of supermarket chain Sainsbury's in the Bayswater district of London, England, on May 13, 2020. Today marked the first day of several eased restrictions across England as a slow loosening of the coronavirus lockdown gets underway, with people now encouraged to return to work if unable to do so from home and unlimited outdoor exercise now allowed. Non-essential shops will not be permitted to reopen before at least June 1, however, and the hospitality sector is to remain closed until at least July 4. With those closure orders still in place, much of central London, which is mostly comprised of retail and hospitality venues, remained largely as deserted today as it has been in recent weeks. (Photo by David Cliff/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
A general view of PSNI officers operating in full PPE gear during the coronavirus pandemic in Belfast. (Photo by Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty Images)
Graffiti in support of the NHS, near Waterloo Station, London, after the announcement of plans to bring the country out of lockdown. (Photo by Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - Nurses who work at central London hospitals protest with placards outside Downing Street in central London on May 13, 2020 calling for improved conditions and pay for nursing staff on the occasion of International Nurses Day 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. - International Nurses Day 2020 coincides with the 200th anniversary of the birth of pioneering nurse Florence Nightingale and aims to shine a light on the difficult work done by nursing staff. The coronavirus pandemic has brought increased focus on the often extraordinary work of NHS clinical, non-clinical staff and care sector staff in caring for patients in challenging conditions with the public showing their appreciation with weekly 'claps for carers'. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
General view of a mural by artist Lionel Stanhope showing 'Supper at Emmaus' by Caravaggio, with the figures wearing protetive gloves, in south London, after the announcement of plans to bring the country out of lockdown. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images)
A quiet 'rush hour' at Waterloo Station as the UK eases some restrictions in it's tenth week to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
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"There's a lot of anxiety I think around this but people need to think through – in an average infant school with 100 children the likelihood of anybody having this disease is very small and diminishing with time, so I think we just need to keep that in perspective."

Dr Harries also warned of longer-term health risks to children who do not get a good, basic education.

She said: "Children who have been invited back to school are at key points of their education and their longer-term health risks of not getting good, basic education, which then takes them into work, employment in adult life and gives them a prevention opportunity from long-term conditions is really very important."

Asked about personal protective equipment (PPE) for teachers, Dr Harries suggested treating teacher and pupil groups like families.

She said: "It's not simply about a bit of kit – it's actually about how you manage groups.

"So in many ways, managing them more as if you were a family where you wouldn't think about putting on PPE or handling in different ways, but you keep in those groups, you can distance within a school."

HEALTH Coronavirus Data
(PA Graphics)

Mr Hancock also used the briefing to address the crisis in care homes.

He said every resident and staff member will have been tested by early June – despite him saying on April 28 this testing was available.

He also announced a named clinical lead for every care home in England, adding: "This is the most intense support and scrutiny that care homes have ever received."

In other developments:

– The number of deaths involving Covid-19 in the UK passed 41,000, according to the latest available data.

– Police chiefs and prosecutors apologised after dozens of people were wrongly charged under new coronavirus laws.

– New figures show that more than 12,500 people living in care homes have now died with Covid-19, with the majority dying in their care home.

– The PA news agency has verified at least 150 NHS frontline workers who have died with Covid-19.

– Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford criticised Boris Johnson's Government for a lack of communication on how Britain moves together out of coronavirus lockdown.

It comes after ministers came under under fresh pressure to ramp up recruitment for the Government's track-and-trace programme as it emerged that only 1,500 contact tracers out of a promised 18,000 had been appointed by the start of the week.

Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis said while "about 15,000" applications have been received, just 1,500 people had been hired for the programme – which is seen as key to allowing the UK to lift the most stringent coronavirus lockdown measures.

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Pictures of the week: May 10 - 16
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Pictures of the week: May 10 - 16
Cyclists ride under a clear blue sky in Blyth, Northumberland, as highs of 22C are now expected for some parts of the UK by the weekend.
Young deer roam the Deer Park, near Ashford, Kent, during the spring weather and form part of a heard of around 100 fallow deer which were established in the 17th Century. Highs of 22C are now expected for some parts of the UK by the weekend.
The Spencer Lawn Tennis Club in Wandsworth on the second day of the easing of some lockdown restrictions in England as the UK continues in the eighth week to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Early morning sun catches the leaves of a Japanese Maple tree in North Wales, as highs of 22C are now expected for some parts of the UK by the weekend.
Amanda Holden seen leaving the Global Radio Studios in London. (Photo by Brett Cove / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
British swimmer Adam Peaty trains at his house in Loughborough in pool provided by Jacuzzi in partnership with Bedfordshire Hot Tubs to allow our GB Olympic Swimmers to continue to train at home for Tokyo 2021 during the current UK lockdown.
Neals Nurseries in Wandsworth reopens on the first day of the easing of some lockdown restrictions in England as the UK continues in the eighth week to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Golfers, wearing protective masks, push their trollies at Rookwood Golf Club, Horsham, Sussex, after golfers return to play as restrictions are lifted in England, as the UK continues in lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus during the pandemic.
The Spencer Lawn Tennis Club in Wandsworth reopens on the first day of the easing of some lockdown restrictions in England as the UK continues in the eighth week to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
British swimmer Luke Greenbank trains at pool in Ed Baxter's home in Loughborough watched by coach Mel Marshall. The pool was provided by Jacuzzi in partnership with Bedfordshire Hot Tubs to allow GB Olympic Swimmers to continue to train at home for Tokyo 2021 during the current UK lockdown.
Seven police officers attend an incident on the Old Shoreham Road as the UK continues in lockdown to curb the spread of Coronavirus during the pandemic.
A family stop to buy an ice cream from an ice-cream van at Hove Park, near Brighton, as the UK continues in lockdown to curb the spread of Coronavirus during the pandemic.
A general view of people sitting in Hove Park, near Brighton, as the UK continues in lockdown to curb the spread of Coronavirus during the pandemic.
ScotRail staff at Edinburgh's Haymarket Station have decorated a window in tribute to the NHS as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A near empty concourse at Waterloo station with a message of support for the NHS during what would normally be the evening rush hour, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Signs for McDonald's and The NHS on display at Wandsworth roundabout as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A man walks across empty passenger lanes at The Port of Dover in Kent as passengers arriving from France will be exempt from forthcoming UK coronavirus quarantine measures while the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A cyclist passes a mural featuring a skeleton on a bicycle in Edinburgh as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A Morrisons supermarket sign selling unleaded petrol at 99.7p per litre at its store in Belle Vale, Liverpool, after the chain reduced its prices across its UK forecourts.
Sunset over the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A British Transport Police officer wears a face mask on the London Underground Central line during what would normally be the evening rush hour, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
People make use of a new widened pavement to aid social distancing on Camden High Street in London, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A woman walks between a coronavirus information sign and a light installation near London Bridge, London, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
People walk through Broadway Market in London, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Uncollected recycling around bins in Harringay, north London. Picture date: Sunday May 10, 2020. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/Empics
An overgrown cemetery in Earlsfield during the UK lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
People take their exercise on Wandsworth Common as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A view of the empty beach at Camber Sands in East Sussex as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A bee taking pollen from alliums in a South London garden as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A man exercising on London Fields, in London, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
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Downing Street later said it was still "on course" to have 18,000 contact tracers next week, and insisted "significantly more" than the 1,500 had been recruited. However, the Prime Minister's official spokesman was unable to say how many.

Labour said the process was "rapidly descending into a shambles", and questioned the reported hiring of private firm Serco to put in place the manual contact-tracing team.

Shadow chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Rachel Reeves said: "This is fewer than one in 10 of the contract tracers the Government said would be in place by now and a fraction of the 50,000 some experts believe are needed to control the spread of the virus."

Meanwhile, signs of regional rebellions to the Government's approach to easing the lockdown emerged as Liverpool City Council said only the children of key workers and vulnerable children will be allowed in school from June 1.

And the Labour leader of Gateshead Council, Martin Gannon, said his advice continued to be "stay at home" as he called the easing of the lockdown rules "frankly madness".

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