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Extremely vulnerable people who have been "shielding" in Great Britain — staying at home at all times and avoiding any face-to-face contact — will be allowed outdoors from Monday, the UK government said in a statement ahead of the official announcement on Sunday.
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick will announce that 2.2 million clinically extremely vulnerable people will be able to go outside with members of their household, while continuing to follow social distancing guidelines, according to the government statement. The updated guidance says those who live alone can meet outside with one other person from another household.
This is seen as a boon for the most clinically vulnerable, including many who have not had any face-to-face contact since they were first advised to shield 10 weeks ago. However, it comes at a time when members of the scientific advisory board to the UK government – SAGE – are warning that a premature easing of the coronavirus lockdown could lead to a "significant" number of new cases and deaths across the country.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan also on Saturday urged citizens to "act with caution" as the government prepares to relax lockdown measures on Monday, expressing his concerns that the country is “rushing” to ease restrictions.
However, the government advised those shielding: "The average chance of catching the virus is now down from 1/40 to 1/1000, delivering greater reassurance that it is safe to cautiously reflect this in the guidance for those who have been advised to shield." It added that people who are shielding should remain at a two-meter distance from others when outside, should only leave the house once a day and should not go to work or the shops. They should also avoid crowded places where they can’t social distance.
"I want to thank everyone who has followed the shielding guidance – it is because of your patience and sacrifice that thousands of lives have been saved," Prime Minister Boris Johnson said. "I do not underestimate just how difficult it has been for you, staying at home for the last 10 weeks, and I want to pay tribute to your resilience."
Johnson thanked those who have helped deliver medicine and shopping or checked in on people who are isolating. "We have been looking at how we can make life easier for our most vulnerable, so … I am happy to confirm that those who are shielding will be able to spend time outside with someone else, observing social distance guidelines," Johnson said. “I will do what I can, in line with the scientific advice, to continue making life easier for you over the coming weeks and months.”
"Thanks to the sacrifices made across the country, which have protected the NHS and saved lives, it’s now time to begin lifting restrictions, step by step, and while we must all stay alert, we can now start to resume a sense of normality," Health Secretary Matt Hancock said.
During his speech at the government's daily press conference on Sunday, Jenrick is expected to set out a plan to review shielding guidance at the same time as the government reviews its social distancing measures. The next review will take place later this month.
The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Peru rose to 155,671 on Saturday, a jump of 7,386 from the previous day, according to the country's health ministry.
The country reported 141 new coronavirus-related deaths, taking the national death toll to 4,371, according to the ministry.
Peru has the second-highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Latin America, behind Brazil.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed a bill that gives death benefits to families of frontline workers who died battling the coronavirus pandemic.
"It is the least we can do to say thank you, and we honor you, and we remember you. You gave your lives for us. We will be there to support your families going forward," Cuomo said at a news conference on Saturday.
"We grieve for your loss, and we will always be there for you the way you were there for us. Thank you," the governor added.
At least five regions in upstate New York have entered phase two as of Friday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said during his Covid-19 news briefing Saturday.
Next week, the capital region and western New York will end 14 days of being in phase one and will have to make a decision if they will move to phase two of the reopening, the governor said.
"We made that decision by reviewing the data and the numbers," Cuomo said.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was asked to what extent he expects a rise in Covid-19 cases as a result of the demonstrations and large gatherings around the city.
“I would still wish that everyone would realize that when people gather it's inherently dangerous in the context of this pandemic and I’m going to keep urging people not to use that approach and if they do they focus on social distancing and wearing face coverings," de Blasio said in a news briefing today.
De Blasio said “you cannot see overt racism, you cannot see overt racist murder and not feel something profoundly deep, so I understand that."
"But the last thing we would want to see is members of our community harmed because the virus spread in one of these settings," de Blasio said. “It’s a very very complicated reality."
At least 67 people in New York state have died from coronavirus on Friday – the same number as the day before.
"Overall, that has been tremendous, tremendous progress from where we were," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a news conference on Saturday.
The number of total hospitalizations, new hospitalizations and intubations have all decreased, Cuomo said.
"That is all good news," he said.
The number of coronavirus patients hospitalized in France continues to decline, according to figures released by the French Health Ministry on Saturday.
There are currently 14,380 hospital patients with the virus, a decrease of 315 from Friday, the ministry said.
The statement said the number of Covid-19 hospital deaths has risen by 57 from Friday.
France has reported 28,717 coronavirus-related deaths in total, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University.
At least 215 people died from coronavirus in the United Kingdom in the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to approximately 38,376, according to UK Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden.
Dowden, speaking at the daily Downing Street press conference on Saturday, said roughly 127,722 tests were carried out on Friday.