Big drop in new coronavirus cases in Lancashire
The number of new cases of people recorded with Covid-19 in Lancashire has almost halved.
Official figures show that 47 more cases of coronavirus have been recorded in Lancashire - this compares to 90 new cases the previous day.
It brings the number of cases recorded in the area up to 278, as the Foreign Secretary announced a new plan to fly tens of thousands of Brits stranded abroad back home.
Public Health England figures show that 278 people had been confirmed as testing positive for Covid-19 by 9am Monday morning (March 30) in Lancashire, up from 231 the same time on Sunday. A week before, there were 59 cases.
They were among the 1,847 cases recorded across the North West, a figure which rose by 311 over the 24-hour period.
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Across the UK, 22,141 people had tested positive for coronavirus as of 9am on Monday, up from 19,522 at the same point on Sunday, Department of Health and Social Care figures show.
In total, 134,946 people had been tested, and, as of 5pm on Sunday, 1,408 had died.
The Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the figures were a “powerful reminder" of the importance of following the Government’s guidelines, as he held the Government’s daily press conference in Downing Street on Monday.
Mr Raab announced the Government had reached an arrangement with airlines including British Airways, Virgin and Easy Jet to bring stranded tourists home.
"As countries work to secure their borders and stop the further spread of this deadly virus, we appreciate that an unprecedented number of UK travellers are trying to get home," he said.
"We’re not talking a few hundred or even a few thousand, we’re talking about hundreds of thousands of people travelling around the world.
"We appreciate the difficult predicament they find themselves in and we also recognise the anxiety of families here in the UK who are concerned to get their loved ones home.
"I want to assure them that this government, their government, is working around the clock to support, advise and to help British travellers get home."
Beginning this week, the Government will begin to charter planes to rescue Brits stranded in countries where commercial flights are no longer operating.
Mr Raab said £75 million of government money will be made available to charter the flights, to keep costs down for travellers – although they will still have to book and pay for their seats.
However, those travellers who are in countries where commercial options are still available should book their own tickets home direct with airlines without delay, he said.
In other coronavirus news:
Measures to halt the spread of coronavirus may be reimposed after being lifted if cases spike rapidly, Scotland's chief medical officer has said.
The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) has warned teachers not to be tempted to inflate students' grades when assessing GCSEs and A-levels this summer.
Mental health charity YoungMinds says the number of young people struggling with mental health problems is likely to increase due to the pandemic, with some experiencing anxiety for the first time.
The Department of Health and Social Care has relaxed abortion rules for the second time in just over a week to allow women to take pills at home during the coronavirus pandemic, after an initial U-turn last Monday.