Friday evening news briefing: London lockdown ‘to be lifted first’

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London’s lockdown will be lifted first, No10 hints

The UK went into lockdown at the same time, but will it be different on the way out? It has emerged that London could be released from restrictions “quicker” than other parts of the country after Boris Johnson moved to take over control of the capital’s coronavirus response from Mayor Sadiq Khan. London has a lower rate of infection than other parts of the country and, on some days, is recording no new cases. At this evening’s Downing Street briefing, Home Secretary Priti Patel confirmed that two-week quarantines will be imposed on new arrivals to the UK from June 8. But the Government has given fresh hopes of international summer holidays, saying it is considering bilateral travel agreements – or “air bridges” – with countries that have a similar Covid-19 infection rate.

Meanwhile, The Telegraph can reveal that home testing kits sent to households around the country have swab sticks that are too long for the sample bottle they go inside. The “design flaw” might explain why many samples are being returned without “the lids screwed on properly” – contributing to delays in patients receiving results and reducing the number of tests processed each day. And, after the Government’s testing coordinator urged the public not to rely on home antibody tests available for £69 at Superdrug, watch this video of what it is like to take one.

Teachers ‘at no greater risk’, say scientific advisers

School teachers are at no greater risk of catching coronavirus than people working in other professions – despite “inconclusive” evidence on how likely children are to transmit the disease. That is according to scientific advice used to inform proposals to reopen schools in England from next month. The Sage papers suggest that younger teachers’ attendance in schools could be prioritised to decrease the likelihood of infection for school staff in more vulnerable groups. Meanwhile, research by University College London suggests children and teenagers are more than 50 per cent less likely than adults to catch coronavirus.

Planning your long weekend? What the rules allow

The Chief Constable of West Midlands Police issued a “don’t be an idiot” warning ahead of the bank holiday weekend after his officers were forced to break up a 100-strong street party in Birmingham. Clearly, that is against lockdown rules. But what exactly do restrictions allow you to do if you venture away from home? If you are planning a day trip to one of England’s destinations that are welcoming visitors, read our essential guide to everything you need to know before you travel.

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At a glance: More coronavirus headlines

Comment and analysis

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Business and money briefing

Worst week for Britain’s economy | The pandemic has engulfed Britain in a recession the likes of which the nation has never seen. As data shows the full extent of the astonishing collapse in GDP, Tim Wallace analyses the damage coronavirus is wreaking in five charts.  

Video: New dawn – exclusive David Hockney project

David Hockney was capturing the arrival of spring when he agreed to create a painted video of the sunrise for us. Watch the exclusive video below, which ends with a personal message of hope from the artist.

Also in the news today

Arena attack anniversary | Manchester is preparing to mark the third anniversary of the suicide bombing with online memorial services tonight. The mother of one of the victims warned that terrorism has not gone away and urged teachers to look out for signs of radicalisation.  

World news: The one story you must read today…

Plane tragedy | A Pakistani domestic plane crashed in a residential area on the approach to Karachi airport after reporting technical problems. The Airbus 320 belonging to the national carrier, Pakistan International Airlines, crashed and caught fire coming in to land at Jinnah International airport. As Ben Farmer reports from Islamabad, all 99 passengers and eight crew onboard were believed to have died.

And finally… for this evening’s downtime

The dark days of disco | Racism and homophobia provided a grim backdrop to Diana Ross’s disco hit with Nile Rodgers. Nick Levine examines how the singer’s greatest album had a troubled birth