Another 113 COVID-19 patients have died in Britain as of Saturday afternoon, bringing the total coronavirus-related death toll in the country to 38,489, British Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick said Sunday.
The figures include deaths in all settings, including hospitals, care homes and the wider community.
As of Sunday morning, 274,762 people have tested positive in Britain, marking a daily increase of 1,936.
Back in March, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled a plan to shield around 1.5 million vulnerable people in the country until June 30, which he said would be more effective than many other measures to slash the number of infected cases.
Chairing Sunday‘s Downing Street daily press briefing, Jenrick told reporters that from Monday those who have been shielded at home in England can take initial steps to spend time outdoors.
“Now that we’ve passed the peak, the risk to those shielding is lower,” said Jenrick.
They can spend time with their households, or one person from outside the household, said the secretary.
“You should only do what you are comfortable with,” said Jenrick, adding that government’s guidance may be extended after end of June if needed.
The next review of shielding measures will take place in the week commencing June 15. “If the conditions become less favourable, our advice to those being asked to shield will unfortunately need to be tightened,” he told reporters.
As to rough sleeping, almost 15,000 homeless people in England have been helped since the start of the pandemic, and the government has offered accommodation to 90 percent of rough sleepers, said the secretary, noting that 6,000 new supported homes to be made available to rough sleepers.
“Rough sleeping is as much a health issue, as it is a housing issue. It’s a crisis of addiction and mental health as well. So we will provide specialist support staff for rough sleepers in this new accommodation to ensure that they can continue to receive the health support that they will need to transform their lives and fulfil their potential,” said Jenrick.