SOCIAL distancing measures could be in place for up to a year until a coronavirus vaccine is found, Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty has warned.
In the Downing Street press briefing, Chris Whitty said: "Until we have a vaccine, and the probability of having those any time in the next calendar year are incredibly small and I think we should be realistic about that.
"We're going to have to rely on other social measures, which of course are very socially disruptive as everyone is finding at the moment.”
He went onto add Covid-19 is going to be with us for the “foreseeable future” and “we have to accept that”.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also announced Scotland's blueprint for relaxing the lockdown.
However, she warned that going back to normality may take more than a year.
Oxford University will today begin human trials on a vaccine with 510 people volunteering.
The death toll in the UK reached 18,738 – 616 more than yesterday.
Meanwhile it has been revealed that two in three Brits back the creation of a new bank holiday to celebrate NHS and care staff.
Follow our coronavirus live blog below for all the latest news and updates.
CLAP FOR CARERS
Kate, William and their family led the nation’s applause for NHS heroes on TV last night.
The Duchess and Duke of Cambridge clapped outside their home with George, six, Charlotte, four and two-year-old birthday boy Louis.
Matt Hancock praised Britain’s 2.6 million Muslims for following the Government’s strict social distancing rules despite Ramadan starting yesterday.
Traditionally Muslims gather with friends and family in the evening to celebrate the end of fasting for a meal called Iftar.
But Muslim leaders have urged the UK’s Muslim population not to meet up and said there was a religious obligation for thelockdown rules to be obeyed during the month of Ramadan.
Donald Trump has said Boris Johnson sounded “incredible” after speaking to him on the phone.
The US President said: “He called me a few days ago, I will tell you he sounded incredible.
“I was actually surprised… he was ready to go, I’m very surprised to tell you this, it’s like, the old Boris, tremendous energy, tremendous drive.”
He added the Prime Minister was “doing great”.
Trump said: “He’s a friend of ours and a friend of mine, he loves our country, he loves his country a lot… and they’re lucky to have him over there.”
PHILIPPINE PRESIDENT THREATENS TO DECLARE MARTIAL LAW
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has angrily threatened to declare martial law after accusing communist rebels of killing two soldiers.
They had been aiding the delivery of cash and food to villagers as his government scrambled to deal with coronavirus infections.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said Friday that Duterte also approved during a meeting with Cabinet officials the extension of a lockdown in metropolitan Manila and several provinces and cities up to May 15.
“I’m warning everybody and putting the armed forces and the police on notice that I might declare martial law. There will be no turning back,” Duterte said in a televised speech beamed nationwide.
HOUSE PASSES COVID-19 SMALL BUSINESS RELIEF BILL
Financial relief is on the way for small businesses after Congress delivered a nearly $500 billion boost in coronavirus spending.
President Trump celebrated the bill's passage at his daily White House briefing Thursday, saying he'll “probably” sign it tonight.
The approved new relief will aid employers and hospitals buckling under the strain of the killer pandemic that has claimed almost 50,000 American lives and one in six US jobs.
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