Coronavirus UK latest news: Daily deaths update paused over 'exaggerated' numbers as gyms reopen next week

UK GOVERNMENT have paused the daily release of the death toll updates because of supposed exaggerated numbers.

Boris Johnson and co have ordered a review into the system after academics revealed the way Public Health England (PHE) calculates figures means they could be counting more than the other nations in the United Kingdom.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister confirmed a raft of new coronavirus lockdown changes including reopening gyms from next week.

Casinos, bowling alleys and ice skating rinks are among those to open their doors on August 1.

Mr Johnson is also urging Brits to return to offices and other workplaces full time from next month, revealing the government will no longer tell workers to work from home.

Instead, the initiative will be passed to companies where they can decide if their employees should return or not.

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    A further 13 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in hospital in England.

    This brings to the total number of confirmed deaths in hospitals to 29,173, NHS England said.

    Those who lost their lives all had known underlying health conditions.


    Teacher Zane Powles said he was “inundated with support” as he hand-delivered 7,500 free school meals to his students in Grimsby.

    Mr Powles, assistant headteacher at Western Primary School, began handing out free school meals to his students on foot at the beginning of the lockdown, delivering his final meal on Friday.

    “When lockdown happened 17 weeks ago now, I was really concerned about our children,” Mr Powles told the PA news agency.

    “We have some quite vulnerable children at our school, and some really vulnerable children at our school.”

    Mr Powles, 48, credited the efforts of footballer Marcus Rashford, who successfully campaigned for free school meal vouchers for children, which means he will not have to continue delivering meals over the summer holiday.

    The teacher said the undertaking was a “team effort”, and that while he delivered meals on foot, the school's headteacher and deputy headteacher delivered meals by car to those further away.

    Over the course of lockdown, Mr Powles claims he has walked more than 550 miles to deliver over 7,500 meals to his students.

    “I've been inundated with support from the families we deliver to, and also the community as a whole,” he told PA.

    “Walking around the estate and around neighbours, people have been in their hordes coming out and clapping, people I don't know, who appreciate and see the effort that's being done for our kids.”

    With the arrival of the school holidays, Mr Powles will be undertaking a cycling challenge around the capital city castles of the British Isles, including the Tower of London, on a 1,500-mile round-trip.

    He will be fundraising for special needs charity FLAG, and Meals & More, which aims to help children receive meals during school holidays.


    Councils in England have been given new powers to close shops and cancel events in a bid to prevent local lockdowns.

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson said local authorities would be given stronger controls as he set out new plans to bring the country back to normality yesterday.

    He said: “From tomorrow, local authorities will have new powers in their areas.

    “They will be able to close specific premises, shut public outdoor spaces and cancel events.

    “These powers will enable local authorities to act more quickly in response to outbreaks where speed is paramount.”

    Ministers will also be given extra powers enabling them to close factories and sectors of the economy in certain regions.

    The details of this will be revealed next week.

    James Jamieson, chairman of the Local Government Association (LGA) which represents council leaders, said he was hopeful the new measures would prevent local lockdowns, like that seen in Leicester, being required in future.

    He said: “Locally-led responses have proven to be the best way to tackle significant outbreaks, which this framework rightly emphasises.

    “Councils know their local communities best and know how to address each unique outbreak.

    “Greater powers for councils to take swift and effective action to address local outbreaks will hopefully help avoid the need for more stringent measures to be imposed locally.

    “Managing local Covid-19 outbreaks will always need to build on the consent of local communities and an effective system of tracing and testing. The use of enforcement powers should be an option of last resort where individuals or organisations are unable, unwilling or opposed to taking actions that reduce the spread of this virus.”

    The move comes amid a row about the way ministers have imposed a lockdown on Leicester and parts of the surrounding region.

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