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9.57am update: Priti Patel says falling transmission rates pave way for reopening of borders

The Home Secretary said UK borders could be reopened now that coronavirus transmission rates were continuing to fall.

Priti Patel told Sophy Ridge on Sky News: “With regard to the public health measures at the border, when those measures were brought in it was to prevent a second wave of the virus being imported in.

“As we see rates of the virus drop with other countries in the world, and also as we see domestic transmission fall, it is right we look at how we facilitate travel and the air corridors, or the travel corridors, that I and my colleagues have spoken about.

“In terms of the countries where this will be possible, there will be an announcement in the next few days ahead.”

Ms Patel confirmed negotiations with countries deemed safe for travel were continuing, adding: “These measures won’t come in overnight.

“They will take time because some of this will be down to negotiation, discussion with certain countries but the principle around sharing data, travel data, the locator form that the Home Office has created, to capture a lot of this information, will absolutely still remain.

“We have to keep on top of this disease.”

9.09am update: UK will ‘build its way back to health,’ pledges Johnson

The Prime Minister has taken to Twitter this morning to reassure Britons amid economic and job uncertainty.

He tweeted: “We want to build our way back to health.

“If Covid was a lightning flash, we’re about to have the thunderclap of the economic consequences. We’re going to be ready.”

9am update: Boris Johnson hints at new lockdowns

Also in the Mail on Sunday interview, Mr Johnson gave a final warning to those massing in big crowds that local lockdowns could be inevitable.

The PM said: “I say to those people who are going out in large groups – you may think that you are immortal, that you won’t be a sufferer, but the bug you carry can kill your family and friends.

“I don’t want a second lockdown but wherever there is a local outbreak, whether in Ashfield or Anglesey, we will empower the local authorities to quarantine everyone who has got it, test back to the moment of infection and make the necessary closures.”

8.45am update: Unemployment may already be at record high, warns shadow cabinet minister

Jonathan Reynolds, Labour’s shadow work and pensions secretary, said it was “possible already that unemployment is the highest it has ever been”.

As a result of the impact on the jobs market, Labour is calling for the Chancellor to be more flexible with the furlough scheme and continue to provide financial support to certain sectors.

Speaking to Sky News’ Sophy Ridge On Sunday programme, Mr Reynolds said: “We need a jobs Budget – the focus should be jobs, jobs, jobs and jobs again.

“Crucially, things like the furlough scheme cannot be a one-size-fits-all scheme.

“If you look around the world a lot of countries are acting flexibly – we need to see that in this country for sectors that are still very much affected by the crisis.”

The Government should guarantee jobs to those out of work for a “significant period of time”, emulating the Future Jobs Fund which was created after the 2008 global crash, said Mr Reynolds.

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