Coronavirus in UK live blog: latest as rail worker dies with coronavirus after being spat on

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

Tuesday, 12th May 2020, 11:57 am

We will be providing live updates until 6pm this evening.

A social distancing sticker is seen on an underground station platform ahead of the evening rush hour in London (Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images)
A social distancing sticker is seen on an underground station platform ahead of the evening rush hour in London (Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Coronavirus live blog, May 12

Last updated: Wednesday, 13 May, 2020, 10:51

Government have no power to enforce 2-metre rule

Police have been told they have "no powers" to enforce two-metre social distancing in England.

Fresh guidelines issued by the College of Policing and the National Police Chiefs' Council urges officers to only enforce what is written in law and that "Government guidance is not enforceable, for example two-metre distancing, avoiding public transport or the wearing of face coverings in enclosed spaces".

Government have no power to enforce 2-metre rule

Police have been told they have "no powers" to enforce two-metre social distancing in England.

Fresh guidelines issued by the College of Policing and the National Police Chiefs' Council urges officers to only enforce what is written in law and that "Government guidance is not enforceable, for example two-metre distancing, avoiding public transport or the wearing of face coverings in enclosed spaces".

HSE will take action against unsafe employers

Business Secretary Alok Sharma has said the Health and Safety Executive was prepared to take action against employers which did not take steps ensure the safety of staff returning to work.

"Employers have a duty to keep employees safe in the workplace - that is absolutely enshrined in law," he told the daily No 10 press briefing.

"If somebody feels their workplace is not safe, they have to take that up with their employer.

"If they don't feel they are getting any traction they absolutely should get in touch with the Health and Safety Executive or the local authority."

HSE will take action against unsafe employers

Business Secretary Alok Sharma has said the Health and Safety Executive was prepared to take action against employers which did not take steps ensure the safety of staff returning to work.

"Employers have a duty to keep employees safe in the workplace - that is absolutely enshrined in law," he told the daily No 10 press briefing.

"If somebody feels their workplace is not safe, they have to take that up with their employer.

"If they don't feel they are getting any traction they absolutely should get in touch with the Health and Safety Executive or the local authority."

HSE will take action against unsafe employers

Business Secretary Alok Sharma has said the Health and Safety Executive was prepared to take action against employers which did not take steps ensure the safety of staff returning to work.

"Employers have a duty to keep employees safe in the workplace - that is absolutely enshrined in law," he told the daily No 10 press briefing.

"If somebody feels their workplace is not safe, they have to take that up with their employer.

"If they don't feel they are getting any traction they absolutely should get in touch with the Health and Safety Executive or the local authority."

Most vulnerable in society still need shielded

Prof Powis suggested the most vulnerable in society would still need to be shielded while coronavirus is circulating in the community.

In response to a question from Alan in Newcastle, a member of the public, Prof Powis said: "The virus is still circulating - it is reducing in the population and the R number is below 1, and we intend to keep it that way.

"But while it is in the community, clearly those at highest risk are still vulnerable and I think we would all want to make sure we do everything we possibly can to protect them."

Powis: 'Deaths falling at hospitals and care homes'

NHS England medical director Stephen Powis has said the numbers of Covid-19 deaths is continuing to fall.

He said the number of patients in hospital with the disease was also down by 2,000 on the previous week.

However, he said it was still "critical" that people continued to follow the social distancing guidelines.

Sharma: 'We are looking out for you'

Business Secretary Alok Sharma has been holding the daily press briefing. 

He  urged bosses to work with employees and unions to develop safe ways of reopening following the lockdown.

At the daily Downing Street briefing, he said he was struck by "the way people have looked out for each other" during the pandemic and the safety guidance issued by his department and the extension to the furlough scheme announced by the Chancellor were in keeping with that public spirit. 

"To employers I say: use this support and guidance to know you are doing the right thing and work with your unions and workers to keep each other safe," Mr Sharma said. 

"To workers I say: we are looking out for you, we want you to feel confident that you are financially supported and returning to a safe workplace. 

"Because in this time, like no other, we all need to work together safely as we rebuild our economy."

Number 10 describes attack on train staff 'despicable'

Downing Street said the attack on Belly Mujinga, a railway ticket office worker who died of coronavirus after being spat at while on duty, was "despicable".

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "It is despicable for a key worker to be attacked in this way while serving the travelling public.

"Our thoughts are with Mrs Mujinga family's at this terrible time."

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